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Chats and Trades and More Chats


Well, Jason Quick went and blew up the Blazernet today in the chat.

He first mentioned a minor deal with a Western Conference team that he doesn’t think will happen (is Mike Conley minor?) and then dropped the bomb of mystery by saying the Blazers have had talks with an Eastern Conference team about sending Raef — Henry Abbott’s top expiring contract — and two rotation, but non-starting Portland players. One of the guys coming back to Portland is someone the Blazers have been after before (Devin Harris, Luol Deng, Richard Jefferson, Danny Granger are some we know about there) and apparently the deal has recently been sweetened with another player. Quick said the mystery combo is one point guard and one small forward, and that he thinks the deal would put Portland into the conversation as a championship contender, though it was unclear whether he meant this year or in the future.

As you can probably guess, people are throwing out all sorts of trade scenarios, but nobody has any better clue than another as to what is really possible. Here are some conjectures, based on the positions Quick threw out, the quality of the players, contracts (thanks, ESPN Trade Machine) and the willingness of the trade partner — as in, either they are financially strapped or just aren’t very good this year. These are just what I can think of off the top of my head, but remember that doesn’t mean I think they are good ideas, just worth spending a few fleeting moments considering, if you’re into this stuff.

Food for thought:

Milwaukee: Ramon Sessions and Richard Jefferson (only 28 years old, younger than I thought)
Chicago: Kirk Hinrich and Luol Deng
Charlotte: Raymond Felton and Gerald Wallace (collapsed lung and all, I guess)
New Jersey: Devin Harris and Vince Carter
Indiana: TJ Ford and Danny Granger or Mike Dunleavy (I put this here for wishful thinking purposes only, with regard to Granger, of course)
New York: Chris Duhon and Al Harrington (for conversation’s sake)
Washington: Caron Butler and ???
Toronto: Jose Calderon and Anthony Parker or Jamario Moon or Jason Kopono
Philadelphia: Andre Miller and Andre Iguodala
Atlanta: Mike Bibby and Marvin Williams

I’m on record saying I don’t care for the idea of getting Hinrich or Felton, nor am I the biggest fan of Richard Jefferson. Washington doesn’t really work because they don’t have a remotely desirable PG, but Butler is obviously attractive, as is Mr. I’m-a-pipe-dream-stop-talking-about-me-Granger. The Philly option is more interesting than I gave it credit for initially, but I don’t see them doing it because Miller’s $10-million dollar contract is expiring this summer as well — the same goes for Atlanta and Bibby. The best “realistic” option I see on that list is the Jersey deal, but I doubt they are letting Harris go anytime soon. The most likely deal? Either the Bucks or Bulls, and I’m going to need some time if I’m going to talk myself into either of those. The biggest factor in the Bulls deal for me is that Deng can’t shoot three’s and Hinrich has a terrible FG%. And that’s enough deal/rumor guessing for tonight.

Also, in John Hollinger’s ESPN chat today, he had this to say about Greg Oden:

"John Hollinger: Oden has stepped it up of late, which is great news for the Blazers, but ROY is so heavily dependent on minutes that I don’t think he’s going to surpass Mayo and Rose … even though I think he’s the best player of the three at the moment."

The “at the moment” is the key there, but in three months let’s remember these words from Mr. Hollinger. I think the last couple weeks have proven that Oden, even to the thirstiest of haterade chuggers, is not a bust. Fair enough?

Minor Update: Forgot to mention that Hollinger also said that Portland and Boston have the best crowds in the league. Made me feel fairly lucky as those are the two arenas that I get to go to the most. People are starting to recognize.