The dust hasn't even begin to settle on this historic day for our beloved franchise, but there are some things that need to be addressed. First off, look at that NW Division now, it has Oden and Roy in Portland, Durant and Allen in Seattle, Garnett in Minnesota, Carmelo and Iverson in Denver, and oh yeah the Utah Jazz are in the Western Conference Finals. That's going to be a slugfest going forward. On the surface, I like the Blazers, Nuggets, and Jazz to all be playoff teams next year but for the next decade it's hard to not like the chances of the Blazers and Sonics, although there could be some minor realignment issues if they move to Oklahoma City.
As I discussed in my catatonic state last night, the Blazers could go one of two ways with this. The first would be to add a scrappy veteran small forward with playoff experience and a sniper off the bench and look to build a playoff ready team, or they could go for a star SF. This is an interesting move, they clearly have 2 budding superstars already, potentially 3 depending on what you think of Aldridge. Would they be better off with a lineup that went Jack, Roy, Veteran Tough Guy, Z-bo, and Oden, or Jack, Roy, Rashard Lewis, Aldridge, and Oden?
Another thing to consider, Z-bo's below average defense in the post is much less of a factor when you've got Oden back there. Greg Oden is the best defensive center alive right now. He makes up for a lot of errors elsewhere on the floor. However, the Blazers can afford to be patient with this, Aldridge and Oden are clearly the future, but it might not be a bad idea to bring Aldridge off the bench for 25 minutes next year. They also still have Joel, who becomes and interesting trade piece if they're looking to add Veteran Tough Guy at the 3.
Oden is off to Vegas for the announcement that he's joining Team USA, which makes sense since he's probably their starting center right now. His mobility, defense, and rebounding will really help against teams like Greece and Argentina. The key element of this is Nate is the assistant coach on that team. I'm not concerned about any potential wearing out of our new franchise player, but it also fuels the "keep Joel and Z-bo for now" side of the debate. Having all 4 big men early in the season would allow them to keep Oden fresh, which is essential because I fully expect them to be playing basketball into May next year.