Portland Trail Blazers: 7 Players the Team Should Try and Lock Up by 2012
As much as the Trail Blazers have brought pleasure and pride to the Northwest, they have failed at one thing: bringing a title to the Rose City post 1977. Close but no cigar, the Blazers haven't been able to get over the proverbial hump and grasp hold of that golden championship trophy at center court.
We have had makeover after makeover, and hope has always led to disappointment. It is time the Blazers go big. If they want to run with the contenders, they need to go for broke and bring in the big-name ballers.
Some players will play large roles, others much smaller ones but all of the following seven players should be on Portland's radar in the coming couple of seasons.
1: Greg Oden
Greg Oden, the Blazers biggest question mark, is wrought with potential. The thought of Greg at full steam sends tingles down Blazers fans' spines.
Wouldn't it be amazing if Greg could re-sign with Portland and prove his doubters wrong once and for all by living up to his college reputation and becoming the next dominant big man in the league? We can only hope.
2: Kevin Love
The Blazers need a superstar. The Blazers also need to finally strike gold at the center position after years of failure.
The Blazers need Kevin Love. Love is young. Love is big. Love is any NBA team's dream big man.
It is time Portland stop thinking that the big-name free agents are out of reach and begin stretching for the stars, so as to acquire a superstar to add to their collection of All-Stars.
3: Gerald Wallace
Wallace was the best surprise last season. Gerald seems to fit right in with Portland. His tenacious style of play injects the team with passion and heart.
In my opinion, Wallace should be one of the few Portland players mentioned in the “untradable” column when the Blazers GM takes count of who he has and where they need to go.
Wallace is a free agent in 2012; offer him an extension early and lock him up for years to come.
4: Dwight Howard
Hey, if Portland is going to go for broke, why not throw Howard's name into the mix? The 2012 unrestricted free agent forward/center would add that superstar piece Portland is so lacking.
5: Leandro Barbosa
Barbosa could be that little bit extra off the bench for Portland that would help them through the tough times when players seem flat and the deficit seems to be growing.
Barbosa has won in years past and perhaps could bring the momentum to the Blazers.
6: Nic Batum
Batum is probably the most athletic player on the Blazers roster. He also has most likely not yet hit his prime years. This makes “Nic the Quick” a very attractive player to other ball clubs.
If Portland decides to make a move for a prominent superstar player, Nic may be a huge factor in the transaction.
If Portland settles for who they have, Nic will be huge off the bench or in the starting five.
7: Derek Fisher
I love Derek Fisher's experience. Is he over the hill? Yes. Is he a mega star who will score tons of points and hand out oodles of assists? No.
Is Fisher a man who knows how to win better than just about anyone in the league? Absolutely. Do the Blazers need to win? No question.
Fisher may just be the man we are looking for!