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The Portland Trail Blazers have had injury trouble (yeah, tell me something I didn't know). I could run through the entire list one more time, but I'm certain that you have heard it before.
Long story short, if you are a Blazers big man, then you should probably watch your step.
It started with Greg Oden suffering a season-ending kneecap fracture 20 games into the season, then it was Joel Przybilla rupturing his patellar tendon, and then re-injuring it months into rehab after a slip in the shower.
So, yeah, life has been rough for the Portland Trail Blazers.
But (adding a hint of optimism and whole lot of reality), the NBA really isn't that talented at the center position. In other words, not many teams have a center that is a game changer. Factually, the Blazers will only face three opponents in the first month of the season that have big men that contribute at a high level.
Those three are Andrew Bynum, Andrew Bogut, and Brook Lopez. And if I may add, two (Bynum and Bogut) are recovering from serious injuries themselves and may not even be ready for those games.
The biggest and most effective reason to have a game-changing center who can throw people around down low and snag almost any rebound in the area is to succeed in the playoffs.
So, is it really that big of a deal now that Jeff Pendergraph (fourth-string center turned second string) is out for the season with a torn ACL?
Will it really affect their win total if they stick with Marcus Camby through the first half of the season? Probably not a lot. But (to add a little pessimism), what If Camby goes down?
Then the Blazers are back to playing Aldridge at Center, Cunningham at power forward, and Babbitt as the backup.
Those aren't exactly stellar options.
Erick Dampier is still on the market and has been in talks with the Portland Trail Blazers' front office, but Jason Quick of The Oregonian has reported that Portland will most likely not sign Dampier to a full season deal, if any.
Still, it is an option and a viable one at that.
The Blazers have the bi-annual option available and Erick Dampier fits into that pay scale.
Sure, when Przybilla and Oden come back, the Portland Trail Blazers would be essentially four centers deep with all of them having started for a team within the past year.
Yes, in a league where starting centers are not all that easy to come by, the Portland Trail Blazers would have four to mix and match through the 82-game season.
That is something that most teams would love to have, but how many is too many? Probably four.
And quite honestly, three starting quality centers would be hard to manage over the course of the season.
So what is most likely to occur is the Portland Trail Blazers will sign a guy that no one has ever heard of to a temporary contract and all will be still in the Portland Trail Blazers' front office.
There won't be any blockbuster sign-and-trade deals completed, nor will there be anything newsworthy.
The Portland Trail Blazers will handle the injury of Jeff Pendergraph and the pressure to complete a potential log jam signing with authority and patience.
The Portland Trail Blazers are treading on dangerous waters, but I don't think that panicking and signing a player you don't need will end up helping the Blazers' win total at the end of the season.
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