I have the complete opposite opinion as the co-author of this blog. I think last night was the final nail in the coffin of the dark period for the franchise. They have their core, Roy, Aldridge, and Oden. They got rid of the guy that needed to go for a variety of reasons. They also added a ton of flexibility, they can pretty much do anything with the roster now.
(UPDATE: According to Pritchard, via the Oregonian, there is another trade that can't be announced until the New York deal is officially finalized with the league. It involves a small forward.)
The Blazers don't need Zach Randolph anymore. He's counterproductive to the style of play of their core players. Zach's offensive game has become give me the ball and then I'll run the shot clock down and try to score. He gets in the way of pick and rolls because he wouldn't get out of the way. He also was standing in the way of the front court of the future (and the front court of the NOW) in Portland, Aldridge and Oden, and has 5 years remaining on a max contract. He had to go. I'm glad he's gone.
Could the Blazers have got a starting small forward for him? Maybe. I think what this comes down to is whether or not you trust Kevin Pritchard and his vision for what he's doing. I'm pretty sure he's got targets, whether in free agency this year or next year.
Rumors were running rampant last night that the Blazers were going to buy out Stevie Franchise's deal. I do think he's a bad fit as well, a shoot first point guard isn't exactly what this team needs.
The bottom line through all of this is that the past is now officially behind them. I trust Kevin Pritchard's plan, whatever it may be. In roughly 365 days he's dumped the entire disgrace that was that 21-61 team. I'm sure their trading and wheeling and dealing isn't done.
Some final draft notes:
They acquired James Jones from the Suns for nothing. He's an outside shooter that plays the 3. I suppose it's a good flier since they gave up nothing for him.
They drafted Josh McRoberts in the second round. This makes my head hurt. I think he's got no real future as a post player in the NBA. He is one of Greg Oden's best friends and supposedly a good guy. I guess if you're going to have a useless player on the inactive list you might as well get your franchise center a buddy.
They drafted Taurean Green in the second round. I like this pick. He reminds me a lot of Jarrett Jack. I think if injuries happened to Jack or Sergio then he's an adequate replacement.
They drafted Demitrius Nichols, small forward out of Syracuse. Update: He's headed to the Knicks as part of the Randolph trade.
They acquired the rights to Rudy Fernandez and Petteri Koponen, Euro guards that everyone seems to really like but will stay over in Europe for another year. Fernandez appears to be the one that everyone is freaking out over. He's a 2 guard that can "do it all" as they say, and apparently is a deadly shooter as well. Koponen is a 19 year old point guard from Finland, nobody seems to know much else about him other than he plays for some team called the Honka Playboys, which is awesome.