Let us forget for a moment that we are in the midst of an NBA lockout that currently has no end in sight. Let's forget that all player transactions are temporarily frozen. Instead, let's pretend that we are in the center of a frenzied offseason, chock full of teams willing to wheel and deal in order to become ultra competitive for the 2011/12 season.
If that were so (eventually, when the lockout ends, it will become reality), the Trail Blazers would no doubt have a secret list of players they are more willing to give up than others. With that said, here are the top three players the Portland Trail Blazers may list on their trading block—including one that may raise eyebrows.
Camby has done well in Portland, even to his own surprise. When Marcus was signed by the Blazers, he wasn't expected to stay longer than half a season.
Instead, he became the rough-and-tumble big boy the Blazers were so yearning to have. But the fact still remains that Camby is past his prime and staring down the backside of his career. Portland may consider shipping Marcus away while he is still marketable to most teams.
Greg Oden is the Blazers' biggest question mark. He could become one of the best centers in team history, or he could confirm the critics' worries and be one of the team's biggest busts (no fault of his own).
Either way, if the Blazers keep him or trade him, it's a big gamble. Sign him to a significant contract and risk paying a broken player millions of dollars to only play a hand full of games. Trade him and risk that if he finally lives up to his potential, the Blazers will never stop kicking themselves on giving up too early.
These possibilities, though scary for some, could be tantalizing to a number teams looking to add one more piece to their puzzle. These issues make Greg Oden a possible big trading piece to a team willing to take the risk.
For years, Nic Batum has been heralded as the golden boy of the Blazers and was presumed to have the potential of blossoming into a superstar. Three years after his surprise debut with the Trail Blazers, team management and fans are beginning to lose their patience.
Let's back up a minute and give credit where credit is due. Nic has been a huge success story for Portland. The 25th pick in 2008, this forward was originally expected to be quickly shuffled to the D-League. Instead, Batum turned heads by almost overnight becoming a cornerstone piece of the budding Blazers.
Portland has kept a tight grip on Batum, expecting him to have a breakthrough season and mature from a very good player to a great one. However, there comes a time when one has to wonder that if this metamorphosis hasn't happened yet, will it happen at all? At this point, Batum is the closest to being dealt as he ever has been in his career.