NBA Free Agents: Who Should the Portland Trail Blazers Pursue in 2012?

Joshua GraberContributor IIOctober 10, 2011

PORTLAND, OR - DECEMBER 09:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic battles Greg Oden #52 of the Portland Trail Blazers for a rebound at the Rose Garden on December 9, 2008 in Portland, Oregon.  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 Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

OK, let me begin by explaining why I am already discussing the 2012 NBA free-agent market—something that is a whole year away.

First, we are in the middle of a league-wide lockout that could potentially put the brakes on part, most or maybe all of the 2011-12 season and at best stunt free-agent acquisitions this offseason. Second, in 2012 big names headline the list of available players that may be looking for greener pastures.

Third, my previous article outlining who I personally felt would be a good fit for Portland stirred enough dispute amongst my readers that I felt it worthy of a sequel—this time where you, the fans, get your chance at broadcasting to the rest of the world your opinion on the subject.

After all, you are the ones who pay the ticket prices, sit in the seats night in and night out and ultimately push the NBA and the game of basketball forward. You are the silent, silent partner in this organization. Shouldn't you, then, get your opportunity to speak you mind? Here's your chance.

Listed below are some of the more significant names whose contracts expire in 2012. The Blazers need a GM right now—it might as well be you. Who should Portland sign? Who should the Blazers offer up in trade to a team looking to move a key piece of Portland's future puzzle in a penitential sign-and-trade agreement?

The only two rules of the game here are 1) we talk about next season—current free agents are off the table in this conversation, and 2) forget about salary-cap restrictions. Considering the current work stoppage is primarily a salary-cap dispute, who knows what may change before 2012?

Just simply post your comments below explaining who Portland should go after and why. While you are pondering your decision, take time to express your opinion on the many polled questions listed here.

Sound fun? Let's go. Tell the world what you think, and who knows—maybe, just maybe, one of those guys wearing a fancy suit will be listening.



Unrestricted: A player who is allowed to sign with any team of his choosing who is willing to offer him a contract. Advantage goes to: Player.

Restricted: A player who is allowed to sign with any team of his choosing who is willing to offer him a contract, except in this case, the player's former team has the right to match any offer given to the player. If a new offer is made and the former team matches that offer, the player is required to sign once again with his former team. Advantage goes to: former team.


2012 Unrestricted Free Agents

Kirk Hinrich

Ray Allen

Kevin Garnett

Jermaine O'Neal

Jason Kidd

Deron Williams

Chris Paul

Chauncey Billups

Nate Robinson

Brandon Bass

Dwight Howard

Jameer Nelson

Raymond Felton

Gerald Wallace


2012 Restricted Free Agents

Derrick Rose

O.J. Mayo

Michael Beasley

Kevin Love

Russell Westbrook

Nicolas Batum