Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Will Portland Make a Trade?

Portland is playing awful basketball and with the team having no participants in any of the all-star festivities over the weekend, that leaves us with only trade rumors to talk about.

First off, there are lots of rumors flying around that Nash is content to "stand pat" and not make any moves. I'll say this one time: I don't understand how anyone could possibly look at Portland's roster and think it doesn't need any changes. It just doesn't make sense. We've got an extra power forward, three quality expiring contracts, and no discernable shooting guard on our team to speak of. Our left-handed backcourt hoists up 40 shots a game and is killing the offense. This team doesn't need to make any moves? I received this email from a reader of mine who's a big Blazer (and huskies, unfortunately) fan:

I'm just a bit concerned by the whole "the status of the collectivebargaining agreement makes us think that it's safer to just let thesecontracts expire rather than taking on any players". That to me is agiant middle finger to your fans. It's basically saying "We care aboutthe bottom line and not the W column."

Couldn't have said it better myself. I'm willing to give Nash the benefit of the doubt, assume he's posturing, and wait until the trade deadline has passed to make any final judgements. However, if Portland has the same roster as of 3:00pm EST on Thursday as it does now, we've got serious problems. For one thing I'll need to figure out how to pad my apartment's walls, and for another thing, that would solidify another season of crappy hoops from our friends at the Rose Garden.

Anyhow, back to the trade speculation. Speaking of trade speculation, how about David Aldridge rising from the dead to drop that "Odom for Stojakovic" rumor on us during the all-star game? That was fun. As for Portland, I try very hard not to give blowhards with unrealistic trade ideas too much mic-time, but here are a few of the trades being floated around.

  • Shareef Abdur-Rahim and a draft pick to Milwaukee for Michael Redd and Keith Van Horn. First off, I don't believe that Milwaukee is going to trade Redd. Yes, he's probably a second-option for any team. Yes, he's made public notions about playing in Cleveland. However, Miwaukee can offer Redd the largest -- by far -- contract of any suitor, and they know this. It's hard to see Redd leaving $20 million on the table to play for another team. That said, there have been rumblings about a Shareef-plus-a-draft pick for Redd and Van Horn deal. Two words: no way. Milwaukee would want a lot more than an expiring contract for Redd. I don't think they send Redd to Portland in any deal not involving Zach Randolph. Likelihood: zero.
  • Shareef Abdur-Rahim to Minnesota for Wally Sczerbiak and Ervin Johnson. This deal makes sens for both teams -- Rumors are that Nash doesn't want to take on the last few years of Szcerbiak's deal. Understandable, but it's tough to see Portland finding a better SG for the price of only Abdur-Rahim. Portland gets their starting 2-guard for the next few years, Minnesota adds SAR to their front-line of Garneet, Olowokandi, and Griffin and looks good to grab one of the last playoff spots. Likelihood: mild.
  • Damon Stoudamire to Miami for Eddie Jones. What's in it for Portland? They aren't playing Damon 42 minutes per game to trade him for another expiring contract. Even if it would temporarily upgrade the team at SG, Jones is a free agent at season's end and this deal doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Likelihood: slight.

Do I hope Nash will make a trade or two? Yes, I truly do believe that he's posturing and there are several items in the works. Do I think he will? I'm not sure. He'd better. Or we might end up having to re-name the blog "SERENITY NOW".

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