Marcus Camby will add defense in the middle, something the Blazers have struggled with recently. His presence down low will allow for other "bigs" like LaMarcus and Juwan to focus on rebounding, shot blocking, or put backs. This is a huge reason why this is good.
The Blazers needed an inside presence to make the most out of the half court offense, period. Without any bigs, they struggled, and then without Brandon Roy the offense was a mess. This is a perfect remedy for now and an even better one once Roy returns.
Camby wont add much on offense, but he'll help draw defenders and could be another inside option when Aldridge is doubled.
The absence of Steve Blake is a little more difficult to substantiate. On the one hand, he was not effective offensively this season, although he was in "theory" drawing defenders by camping at the three. When Brandon cleared itthough , he wasn't hitting, and there was no one inside to rebound those misses. Thus, Blake was ineffective.
Then the Miller-gate, three-guard lineup. Nate couldn't decide who starts which made Blake seem all the more terrible. He had some good games, but overall his defensive and offensive contributions were becoming less and less. The trade opens up time for Miller to really gel with the guys and specifically Brandon, while freeing some time for Bayless, who still needs "growing" minutes.
Outlaw has been injured all season, so fans have quickly forgotten the issues his presence on the team really posed. First, there are good players at the three or three/four. Outlaw would have cut minutes from their playing time upon his return.
Outlaw's return would have taken time from the defensively superior Dante Cunningham and the offensively/defensively/everything better Batum. Not to mention Martel, who is just perfect in that backup 3 spot. It is time for Travis to go, plain and simple. He'll work well within a more free, faster paced, offensive system.
There has been some chatter that perhaps the Blazers could go back and re-sign Blake after the season—I highly doubt that happens—but we'll have to wait and see.
Regarding lineups and playing time, the Blazers would do well to ease Camby into the rotation and then ideally, he'll eventually start. Knowing Nate, Camby will play moderate minutes, not too many and not too little. If there is a match up better suited for Howard, I have no doubt in my mind Nate will give minutes to Howard. The front line of Camby, Aldridge and Batum has so many defensive possibilities, as they will become a lock down unit when defending on the perimeter.
There is some criticism that Camby has trouble defending the pick and roll. This is something Batum and Aldridge will help accommodate. No doubt though, certainly start Camby, who's better and absolutely necessary inside for the Blazers at this point in the season.
What is an important aside is that Camby will help alleviate some of the heavy minutes LaMarcus has logged this season, which contributed in part to some of Aldridge's nagging injuries. Furthermore, Pendergraph will see less playing time. This is okay; aside from his exceptionally exciting dunks and blocks, he hasn't been great at anything really, and definitely needs some refinement before earning more meaningful minutes.
Cunningham will see some increased playing time as well, even next season now that Outlaw, who was slated to return about this time, is no longer there to take his minutes. This is a huge positive for the Blazers as Cunningham already plays defense better than Outlaw.
Despite the ridiculous amount of troubling injuries, and the cash which was included with the deal, the Blazers show they are dedicated to actually getting to the playoffs this season.
Sophia Brugato | Twitter: @sophiabiabia | S.Brugato(at)Gmail(dot)com