Everyone loves to think up trades for their favorite teams. There’s always blockbuster deals and minor tinkering that fans and media alike will come up with, but generally with more familiarity to one party over the other(s). It’s just tough, when you don’t follow a specific team every year, for years upon years, to know exactly how available certain players are, or just how badly the team needs to dump salary.
So the idea here is to provide a sort of encyclopedic entry on the availability of Portland’s players and how much their contracts are affecting the team. Hopefully the idea will catch on with enough other blogs that you’ll have a bookmark to reference whenever you’ve worked out a trade on the Trade Machine and find yourself thinking, “But would they really do that?” If you or any blogger you know of creates a similar post, email us at [email protected] and we’ll start an “Availability Database”.
We’ll hit payroll first, and then run down the list of players based on what they will make in 2010-11. Information is subject to change, just as the team’s situation remains fluid.
2011 Financial State: With extensions to Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby kicking in, as well as Wesley Matthews’ five-year deal, the Blazers are on the books for just over $73 million in 2010-2011. Joel Przybilla’s contract expires after this season, and Andre Miller’s has a club option for 2011-12. Those will likely be their two biggest trade chips for teams looking to dump salary, but the Blazers are looking to get better now, so they aren’t going to give away pieces for nothing.
Brandon Roy, $13 million: Going into the season, Roy was the most untouchable player on the team because he was the undisputed face of the franchise. Now, with his health more in question than ever, he’s impossible to trade because no team will likely want to take on the remaining four years and close to $70 million of his contract when there’s no guarantee his knees will ever be healthy again. The ideal scenario, of course, is that Roy recovers from surgery at close to full strength, in which case he would go right back to being unavailable due to his on-court value to Portland. In other words, it’s highly unlikely he’ll get traded.
LaMarcus Aldridge, $10.7 million: The line of reasoning on LaMarcus Aldridge’s availability was always that he could be had for a clear upgrade. But with Roy out and Aldridge putting up 25 and 10 on a nightly basis, the list of players who could be classified as “upgrades” is getting smaller and smaller. Compare his contract to those of Chris Bosh, Amar’e Stoudemire, and David Lee, and his value to the Blazers becomes even more clear. He isn’t going anywhere.
Marcus Camby, $10.6 million: His name has been thrown around here and there, mostly because his age makes it hard to picture him as a part of the Blazers’ long-term plans. But with Greg Oden out for yet another season and Joel Przybilla still not contributing big minutes, Camby’s importance to the Blazers is hard to deny. His play this season has been as solid as ever, and their lack of frontcourt depth makes it that much harder to think about trading him. Any package Portland would get in return would have to include at least one good, young big who’s a legitimate piece to build around in the middle. And considering how few of those are out there (Marc Gasol comes to mind, but few others who might be available), it’s not likely Camby goes anywhere, at least not this year.
Joel Przybilla, $7.4 million: Przybilla’s $7.4 million expiring contract, he’s certainly an attractive trade chip for teams looking to clear cap space. But as with Camby, the Blazers would probably be reluctant to move him just because of the gap that would leave in the their big-man rotation. They certainly wouldn’t trade him just to make a trade, but he could definitely be had for the right offer.
Andre Miller, $7.2 million: The 2011-12 year on his contract is non-guranteed, which makes him valuable both as a contract and as a point-guard fix, but since neither Armon Johnson nor Patty Mills seem ready to be the starting point guard, Miller probably isn’t being moved unless the Blazers are getting a clear upgrade at the position.
Greg Oden, $6.7 million: Given everything Rich Cho and Larry Miller have said since the announcement that Greg would have his third season-ending knee surgery in four seasons, it’s highly unlikely that Oden will be traded. He did not sign an extension with the team this summer, and thus will be a restricted free agent after the 2010-11 season. When healthy, Oden’s potential is still through the roof, so my gut tells me the team will want to at least see where he is with his rehab when it comes time to decide on his future with the team. That’s not to say there’s zero chance he could be had in the perfect circumstances, but I can’t think of what those would be.
Wesley Matthews, $5.7 million: Matthews has been a revelation since signing what many people thought was an exorbitant contract this summer. He’s been so good, in fact, that his contract looks pretty reasonable right now. It would be very, very hard to convince the Blazers to move him unless it’s part of a bigger package deal for a Chris Paul-level point guard or an elite young big man, and it isn’t likely either of those offers will present themselves to Portland anytime soon.
Luke Babbitt, $1.6 million: Babbitt hasn’t really played any non-garbage-time minutes for Portland, but from what we can gather, he is very much a part of the team’s plans for the next few years. Given that he’s played pretty minimal minutes in the pros, he isn’t someone that teams would trade for by himself. If he is moved, it will be part of a bigger package, and as is always the case with these things, that would depend on what the Blazers were getting in return.
Elliot Williams, $1.2 million: We have no idea at this point what on-court value Williams can provide–he’s missing his entire rookie season with knee surgery. His situation is the same as Babbitt’s: teams who want him will want him because he makes a bigger deal work financially.
Rudy Fernandez, $1.2 million: Of the Blazers’ established bench players, he’s probably the most likely to get traded. He’s having a better year this year than he did in 2009-10, which means his value should be a little bit higher than it was this summer when the team was openly shopping him and struggling to get even a mid-first-round pick. Make them an offer.
Nicolas Batum, $1.2 million: All indications from the front office are that Batum isn’t even remotely available.
Patty Mills, $937 K: Mills has been playing solid minutes as Andre Miller’s full-time backup lately. Don’t be surprised if he signs a multi-year deal with Portland this offseason. As such, Cho probably wouldn’t be inclined to trade him unless it were part of a bigger deal for an upgrade at that position.
Sean Marks, $800 K: Anybody willing to call the Blazers up about this guy would probably be better served picking up a free-agent big man. There’s gotta be someone out there for you who contributes what Marks does…which is to say, not all that much.
Dante Cunningham, $762 K: Definitely available as part of a package.
Armon Johnson, $473 K: Johnson did a decent job at the beginning of the season before his backup point-guard minutes were taken by Patty Mills. He’s in that sort of limbo where he wasn’t good enough in those minutes that any teams would make a point of calling about him, but he still has enough potential that isn’t not hard to see Portland keeping him in their long-term plans. But if his salary is needed to finish a bigger deal, they’re probably open to that.
Draft Rights to Victor Claver, Petteri Koponen and Joel Freeland: All are tradeable assets.
Draft Picks: We have yet to see how Rich Cho operates on draft day, but there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t at least be open to including picks as part of a deal for a player that would make Portland better now.
Willingness to participate in multi-team deals: Again, the Blazers aren’t looking to dump salary. If a facilitating role in a multi-team deal will land them with either draft picks or a player they can use, they should at least be willing to listen.