Ex-New Orleans Hornets forward and current free agent Carl Landry has expressed interest in becoming a member of the Portland Trail Blazers next season. Though the NBA lockout prohibits teams from talking to or about NBA players, the lockout does not prohibit the players from talking about NBA teams.
In an interview with SLAMonline.com, Landry said:
"I think I can fit in with Portland... They’re in need of a big post presence down low. I'm not taking anything away from (Greg) Oden and (Marcus) Camby. I just know what I can provide. The Blazers are a good team and I know I can help."
But is Portland in need of a post presence or do they really need another rebounder and defender down low?
Landry failed to mention that LaMarcus Aldridge, the Trail Blazers' main source of offense last season, made a living scoring on the block and knocking down mid-range buckets. Playing 39.6 minutes per game, Aldridge was able to put up 21.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and one steal per game. Though he's not considered a premier defender in the NBA, L.A.'s 6'11" frame helped alter shots that went up around the rim.
Landry's numbers do not come within a shade of Aldridge's. He's a below-average rebounder at 4.9 per game (among the league's worst at the power forward position), and only averaged 11.9 points per game. To make matters worse, Landry averaged 35.5 minutes per game in the playoffs and still only managed to pull in five rebounds per game.
Last, but certainly not least, Landry is a poor defender. Defense is something that the Portland Trail Blazers pride themselves on. Landry averaged 0.4 blocks and 0.5 steals per game throughout the regular season and has never been highly regarded as a defender. Add on the fact that he's only 6'9", and you've got a recipe for disaster.
The Trail Blazers do not need a player who won't give his all on both ends of the court. Both Marcus Camby and Greg Oden are renowned defenders whose games are predicated upon protecting the paint. There is no reason Portland should dock some of their minutes to give a second-rate power forward (let's be honest) some playing time. He might be a decent post player and have a consistent jumper, but Landry is definitely not someone this organization should pursue.
As I've mentioned before, I think a high-energy, defense-oriented player like Kenyon Martin would be a perfect fit for a backup power forward in Portland. Landry simply does not make the cut.