The 2008 offseason is a big time for Portland’s favorite pro team. With a lottery pick, three early second rounders, and some on-the-block youngn’s, look for GM Kevin Pritchard to make some power moves.
While in an earlier article, I looked at the possibilities for the Blazers in the draft, I want to take this opportunity to look into some trade possibilities. There are some hot rumors circulating around the Blazers and many of their players. Below is a synopsis of those rumors and the other teams involved.
(*please note that the trade rumors below consist of only the major pieces. In order for them to work under the CBA, additional players would have to be swapped so the contracts would all match)
The Players Sparking Interest: Mike Conley, Kyle Lowry, Mike Miller
The Trade Bait: Travis Outlaw, Jarrett Jack, Channing Frye, #13 Pick
Trade Rumor: Conley/Miller for Outlaw/Jack/#13/2nd round pick
Why it works for the Blazers: It gives them the PG they want to run their dynasty and the veteran SF they so desperately need.
Why it works for the Grizzlies: They have a load of young PG’s already, and if they get Rose in the draft that number would increase. Outlaw gives them a nice complement to Gay and the #13 pick could be used on one of the last pieces the Grizzlies need to set up a great young team of their own. Jack and the 2nd rounder are just extra incentives in a trade that the Blazers probably want more. If you ask me though, Rose/Navarro/Gay/Outlaw is a devastating line-up that would be around for years to come.
Conclusion: I think this would be great for both teams. The Blazers want this more though, so the Grizzlies might ask for too much making this trade just a fantasy. Also look for the Blazers to go after only one of the players listed above.
The Players Sparking Interest: Jose Calderon, TJ Ford
The Trade Bait: Travis Outlaw, Jarrett Jack, #13 Pick, Steve Blake
Trade Rumors: Calderon for Outlaw/Blake or Calderon for #13/Blake
Ford for Outlaw/Blake or Ford for #13/Blake
Why it works for the Blazers: This would give them a young PG they feel can lead their franchise for years to come.
Why it works for the Raptors: They have two superb PG’s, so getting rid of one to get a player like Outlaw or someone they want in the draft isn’t a huge deal. Plus they get a solid, veteran backup in Steve Blake.
Conclusion: This really works for both teams, and I could really see something happening. Toronto may want something else though, since they value both of these PG’s very highly.
New Jersey Nets
The Players Sparking Interest: Richard Jefferson
The Trade Bait: Travis Outlaw, Raef LaFrentz, #13 Pick
Trade Rumor: Jefferson for Outlaw/LaFrentz/#13
Why it works for the Blazers: It gives them a great SF and makes them immediately viable in the west.
Why it works for the Nets: They get a young forward with a ton of upside, another lottery pick to start re-building and an expiring contract that ends next year, giving them their chance to make a run at LeBron.
Conclusion: While I think the Nets would love this deal, I’m not so sure the Blazers would be willing to give up their two biggest trade assets for 1 aging player.
The Players Sparking Interest: Keyon Dooling
The Trade Bait: Jarrett Jack, Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, 2nd round picks
Trade Rumor: Jack/2nd Rounder for Dooling or Outlaw for Dooling
Why it works for the Blazers: It gives them a nice, defensive-minded PG who doesn’t make a lot of mistakes.
Why it works for the Magic: They get a young, solid SG and an early 2nd rounder they can splurge with. Or they get Travis Outlaw, enough said.
Conclusion: If the Blazers trade Outlaw for Dooling I will hang myself in my front lawn. There is no way this will happen. They may however try to get Dooling with Jack and a draft pick, but I’m not sure this makes enough sense for the Magic.
The Players Sparking Interest: Kirk Hinrich
The Trade Bait: Travis Outlaw, #13 pick
Trade Rumor: Outlaw/Hinrich or #13/Hinrich
Why it works for the Blazers: They get a solid PG who can contribute immediately.
Why it works for the Bulls: They get rid of an overpaid PG who they don’t want and get a young player with a ton of upside in return (via Outlaw or the draft)
Conclusion: This could very well happen. The only problem I have with this is the fact that Hinrich is not that much better than Steve Blake, a player the Blazers already have. However, if the Blazers offer this and the Bulls don’t accept, someone in Chicago needs to be fired.
In case you can’t see the trend, the Blazers are after two things: a PG and a SF. They can go about this via the draft, a trade, or a combination of the two. The biggest thing I want to see happen is the acquisition of BOTH of these needs.
In reality, the Blazers have two trade assets: Outlaw and #13. I don’t think they should use both of these pieces for a PG or a SF. They need both. If they use these assets and some of their complementary pieces wisely, they should be able to add what they need to be a playoff team next year.
All I know is that Kevin Pritchard is a man with a plan and anything he does will have a purpose. I trust him. I think. But, my time here is done. It’s time to meditate under my Greg Oden poster. Until next time.
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