Saturday, June 27, 2009

NBA Offseason Thoughts

I lied, this is pretty much my thoughts on the Blazers offseason.
  • I sincerely hope that Kevin Pritchard is reading this. repeat after me: DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. DO NOT SIGN HEDO TURKOGLU. Don't touch him. If he tries to enter the city of Portland then tell the Portland airport not to admit his plane. Hedo plays no defense at all: He couldn't guard the chair that dominated Ricky Rubio in the individual workouts. He's only good in Orlando's offense. In the Finals he was terrible against Trevor Ariza, who, by the way, happens to play in the same conference. Furthermore Portland is stacked at the 3 with Batum, Outlaw, and Webster. Kevin Pritchard, DO NOT SCREW UP YOUR CAP SITUATION BY SIGNING THIS GUY. Also, it cannot be underemphasized: Hedo will destroy all the credibility with females that Rudy helped to build up. In short, I would rather be tazered than see the Blazers sign Hedo.
  • I keep reading about the rumors that portland wants to get Kirk Hinrich, which makes sense: In the playoffs Steve Blake got exposed for his horrible defense. Captain Kirk was a perennial candidate for All-defensive team until he lost his job to the beest point guard in the league. He's also a decent upgrade over Blake on the offensive end because he gives you about the same three point shooting (Blake's one serviceable skill), and much better driving ability. Here's the problem: they might have to give up Rudy or Outlaw, which they shouldn't do. Everyone knows that Roy and Aldrige are completely, absolutely, undoubtedly untouchable. I wouldn't mind an Oden trade since he can't seem to stay healthy, but he's probably not leaving, which is also fine with me. I personally think that Rudy, Batum, Outlaw, and Bayless should stay put, and in that order. I absolute LOVE what Rudy and Batum did in their rookie years. Rudy is a terrific, albeit slightly inconsistent 3-point shooter, a great character guy who really comes to play in big games, and quite possibly the biggest female hearthrob among female fans out of all NBA players. I love Batum's defense, energy, hustle plays, spectacular dunks, and occasional 3-point shooting. In time he'll be a slightly better version of Trevor Ariza. Because of his short arms Jay Bilas would probably trade Bayless for 5 cents on the dollar, but I think he should stay because of his potential. The guy I really want to talk about is Travis Outlaw. I understand why Portland might want to trade him considering his defense/rebounding (he's not that bad, but considering his size/length/athleticism combination he could be soooooooo much better in those two areas) and the way he shit on himself in the playoffs. I would keep him: I think he's a 6th man of the year type of talent (he so should've won it over Jason Terry). He's one of the few guys who can create his own shot off the dribble against any defender, he's a great finisher at the rim, and he's a nice shooter from both midrange AND 3-point territory; this is a pretty underrated skill, as there are a lot of guys that can knock down only 3-pointers (Michael Redd, Trevor Ariza, Michael Pietrus, James Posey, to name a few) and some guys who only have range out to 15-20 feet (Rip Hamilton, a bunch of other guys that I can't think of off the top of my head), but not too many who are good from both parts. Furthermore, he is the definition of instant offense and can really heat up quickly. I saw some nights when he was absolutely lighting it up; he came in and in the blink of an eye he had hit 5 shots in a row. His gives the blazers a lot of versatility because they can either go with a big lineup by making him a 6'9 small forward, or they can go small by making him a super athletic power forward (If the blazers used this tactic more they would've wone at least a couple more games and definitely advanced past the Rockets). In short, while Outlaw isn't untradeable like B-Roy or LA, I would try to keep him. Hinrich's a good guard, but not good enough to trade Outlaw for him. How about this: Steve Blake and Martell Webster for Kirk Hinrich: The Bulls get cap relief and a couple decent players. More importantly, the Blazers are drastically better at the point guard position: They would have basically used the offseason to replace Blake/Sergio Rodriguez with Hinrich/Bayless. That's like a dating some random high school girl for a year, dumping her, and then hooking up with Jessica Alba. The Blazers would basically have this:

PG - Captain Kirk/Jerryd Bayless

SG - B-ROy/Rudy

SF - Batum/Outlaw

PF - Aldrige/Frye

C - Oden/Pryzbilla

  • As that list shows, instead of worrying about Hedo Turkoglu, Portland should focus on landing a quality big or two. I'm sold on LA and I think Oden will eventually be at worst a bigger, more athletic Emeka Okafor, at best a slightly worse version Dwight Howard. But I might gauge my eyes out if I have to endure another year of Channing Frye and Joel Pryzbilla. Spend the cap space on the frontline.
  • If Raymond Felton and/or Marvin Williams are available, then i think either one of them is worth the midlevel exception. They both emerged last year but for some reason are undervalued by their clubs, presumably because Charlotte and Atlanta used top-five picks on them expecting them to become all-stars and then became disappointed when they became good role players. I Nate McMillan would be smart enough to let them flourish in a supporting role and not force them to do too much. As a matter of fact, Williams intigues me because he can do a lot of things similar to Outlaw. Williams gives you at least 80% of TO's production, and if Portland could get him then I'd be open to throwing all the stuff that I wrote about Outlaw and trading him to get an upgrade at point guard. Or they could sign Felton and keep Outlaw. This would be cheaper, but Felton isn't quite as good as Hinrich. Either plan is about 100000000000000000000000 times as cost-effective as signing Turkoglu.
  • Here's one final, non-Blazers related thought: Chris Bosh , Lebron, and Dwayne Wade (That's right, I had the balls to put Chris effing Bosh ahead of Lebron/D-wade. I think I might like Bosh as a player a little too much, but who the hell cares at this point) should all go the, drumroll please.........................wait for it.....................................the swamp that is... New Jersey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm totally serious. Look at the core the Nets have built up over the last two years: Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, Terrence Williams, Brook Lopez, and spare parts. That's group is already good enough to win 45-50 games and maybe, just maybe a playoff series. Throw in Lebron, Wade, and Bosh, and that's a title contender immediately. As in, that team would win 65 and march to the title in 2011. Furthermore, Lebron gets to play for his boiiiiiiiiiiiii Jay-z, and there's still a chance that they might become the Brooklyn Ballers (a move that makes way too much sense not to happen). A team of Harris, Wade, Lebron, Bosh, and Lopez, with Lee and Williams spearheading the bench would immediately be the best in the league, and that's not taking into account the fact that the team would become deeper because all the free agents would be fighting each other on the streets to play with the Nets. Obviously the best option is for them to all take wayyyyyyyyyyyy less money to join Portland and go 98-0 (undefeated regular season and playoffs) but that won't happen.