The Pros and Cons of Portland's Trade for Marcus Camby

T.Contributor IFebruary 16, 2010

LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 28: Marcus Camby #23 of the Los Angeles Clippers controls a loose ball as he falls to the court against the Phoenix Suns on October 28, 2009 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.    NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Everyone's talking about the recent trade the Portland Trailblazers made for Los Angeles Clippers big man Marcus Camby.

They're asking:

Does it solidify Portland as a top team in the West?

Will this help the Blazers beat the Los Angeles Lakers?

Was it even worth it to give up Travis Outlaw?

For every trade, there are going to be pros and cons. This one is full of both for the Blazers.





1. A Much Needed Big Man

The Blazers have been hurting the whole year at the center position. Early on, they lost seven-footers Greg Oden and Joel Pryzbilla.

They were forced to go with 6'9" Juwan Howard, who did an amazing job filling in.

But no matter how the minutes work out between Howard and Camby, it would have been a daunting task for Portland to try to make a push for the playoffs and in the playoffs without another big man.


2. Rebounding and Defensive Help

Camby is second in the NBA behind only Dwight Howard in rebounds per game. He is also averaging more than 10 rebounds per game in his career.

Although the Blazers are a fairly effective rebounding team—they hold opponents to 10.1 offensive rebounds per game, which is good for sixth in the NBA—a good rebounder is always welcome.

Also, Camby is a two-time member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Another thing all teams want to have is good defenders.

Portland is getting a great defender and rebounder who is also unselfish offensively— exactly the type of player all teams want.


3. A Mentor For Greg Oden and Jeff Pendergraph

Marcus Camby is exactly the type of player Oden and Pendergraph should model their games after.

Camby is a veteran who has been around the league, and if he gets any time with Oden, his wisdom would be beneficial to absorb.

The only model Oden has been able to closely observe is Joel Pryzbilla, but the type of game that those two play is too different for Oden to pick up much more.





1. Travis Outlaw's Potential

There's no telling how good Outlaw will become. He could be great—or he could just continue to be an above-average bench player.

The tough thing about trading a guy like Outlaw, who is only 25, is that he hasn't reached his prime yet.

He could go on to become a perennial All-Star; you just never know.

However, Outlaw may have reached his potential with the Blazers. There are already plenty of scorers in Portland—and Outlaw may have not been getting as many touches as he deserved.

2. Steve Blake's Leadership

Steve Blake was an important part of the Blazers second and late-game lineups. He could step up and hit the big three and control the offense effectively.

Now, Portland's second unit consists of Jerry Bayless and Rudy Fernandez at the guard position.

Those guys are probably more talented than Blake, but they lack the experience and ability to manage the game that Blake possesses.

Blake may end up being sorely missed—or Bayless might blossom into his full potential with more minutes and leadership opportunities.


3. Camby Is Most Likely One and Done

Camby has an expiring contract, and unless the Blazers front office dishes out some big money for him, he probably won't be around after this year.

Whereas, there was a good chance Portland would have re-signed Blake and Outlaw.

This seems to send a message that Portland's management is expecting big things out of the Blazers this season because they went out and made a short-term deal like this.

However, the Blazers could always re-sign Camby, which would make for one hell of a frontcourt with Camby combining with Oden, Pryzbilla, and Lamarcus Aldridge next season.