I'm sure that most of you by now have gotten wind of the latest trade rumor involving the Blazers. There are three of them floaing around right now, and as always we're happy to discuss all three.
1. Portland - Utah Trade
Portland would send the #3 pick, Ruben Patterson, and the rights to Sergei Monya to the Utah Jazz in exchange for the #6 pick, the #27 pick, Gordan Giricek and Kirk Snyder. There are a few different versions of this deal floating around, some without Giricek and the #27 pick, some without Patterson. But this seems to be the most prevalent.
It's a bizarre deal, because you'd think that Portland would be moving down in the draft to #6 to select a shooting guard such as Martell Webster or Gerald Green. But in this deal, Portland would receive both a solid if unspectacular guy who can step in and be an upgrade over DA at shooting guard in Giricek and what would likely be percieved as a potential shooting guard of the future in Kirk Snyder (ironically, the guy I wanted them to take with the first pick last year).
Looking at these two players a little closer: Giricek is listed first on Utah's depth chart at SG. His demensions are 6-5, 210lbs, 28 years old. Last season he averaged 8.8 pts, 1.7 ast, 2.2 rebs in 20 mpg last year (which looks bad, but consider that we're talking about 20 minutes per game. If you double that to 40 mpg, he's at 17.6 pts, 3.4 asts,4.4 rebs... not horrible.) Shooting: 45% FG, 81% FT, 37% 3pt. Allof those are right at his career avgs. He's averaged 10.8 points in 25 mpg in his career. He is entering the second year of a four-year, $16 million contract. So he's a serviceable two guard that would be a step up from DA while we waited for a younger guy (Martell Webster or Gerald Green?) to develop. As for Snyder, he's a 6-6 225 lb shooting guard. Last year, his rookie year, he was pretty crappy, shooting 37% fg, 66% ft, 35% 3pt. In 13 mpg, heaveraged 5 pts, 1.8 rebs and .5 asts. I know that his rookie year was considered largely a disappointment; I also know that he had considerable trouble getting out of Jerry Sloan's doghouse, and played better towards the end of the season.
Honestly .. I'm hoping for a little more than two unspectacular players out of the #3 pick, and though I wouldn't be terribly upset, would be very curious to see what the club does with that #6 pick after acquiring two new shooting guards. I believe that Portland and Utah make good trading partners in this situation but have a hard time believing that this deal would go down as-is.
2. Portland - Charlotte
Bernie Bickerstaff, Charlotte's coach/GM, has acknowledged that Portland has made an offer of sending the #3 pick to Charlotte in exchange for the #5 and #13 pick and that the deal remains on the table, but continues to maintain that he's not interested. My feelings are that may change come draft day, once we find out exactly which of the Marvin Williams/Andrew Bogut/Chris Paul triumverate is available with that #3 pick. But it sounds like he's looking for Portland to include a veteran along with that #3 pick, which it doesn't sound like Portland is wililng to do. Keep an eye on this situation, as it seems to be the most likely of trade partners at this point.
3. Portland - LA
Yes, you read that correctly. I should caveat this paragraphy by mentioning that I haven't heard any legitimate rumors that Portland and the Lakers are talking trade, only speculation that they may be.
The speculated deal is the #3 pick and Ruben Patterson for Caron Butler, Chucky Atkins and the #10 pick. Personally, I don't believe that LA would want Ruben Patterson. Phil Jackson has already had him in LA and he wasn't (and never will be) a good fit for the triangle offense. From Portland's perspective, it's an interesting deal in that you'd get a good backup PG in Atkins, a wingman who can man the SG post while the #10 pick (would Webster still be available?) develops. Meanwhile, LA gets to draft either Gerald Green -- whom they're rumored to be enamored with -- or their PG of the future, either Deron Williams or Chris Paul. So you can understand why folks are speculating about the deal, though again I don't believe that the Lakers would have much interest in Ruben Patterson.
That's what we're hearing ... with Portland essentially holding the card to the draft's best PG, they've got several suitors for the pick. Information will be provided as it pours in. Also, be on the lookout for our first Mock Draft to be released this week.