That's the question that's been bugging me for a week or so now. I know he loves living in Portland, and still has his house out in West Linn. Hey, I love Portland too, and I certainly don't mind if anyone else loves my city and wants to live here, but is that really a qualification for being the starting point guard on an emerging power in the NBA? Let's take a look at Steve Blake and see what exactly we have since they just gave him a good chunk of the MLE to be their point guard.
When he was 25 years old he played a full season in Portland, 68 games, 57 starts. He averaged 26 minutes per game, 8.2 points, 4.5 assists to 1.2 turnovers, and was generally a fairly average player on a team that won 21 games. He never annoyed me, but I wasn't exactly blown away.
Most of his perceived value comes from his play in Denver last season, he was traded from the Bucks to the Nuggets early in the year and in the Mile High City he played in 49 games and made 40 starts. He averaged 8.3 points, 6.6 assists to 2.1 turnovers. The spike in both assist and turnover numbers could easily be argued as being a result of dribbling up the floor, passing to Iverson or Carmelo, who then jack up a shot.
According to basketball-reference.com, his three most similar players are Pearl Washington, Jay Humphries, and Bryce Drew.
So what exactly do we have here? He looks like a fairly steady player, but I certainly don't see an upper tier NBA point guard there. I would certainly wager more on Jarrett Jack at 24 years old becoming an upper tier guy than I would Steve Blake at 27. On a side note, Jack's most similar player is Joe Dumars.
If the long term plan is "just hold it together at the position for a few years and see what you've got with Jack and Sergio, but we need a veteran to stabilize things" then I suppose I'm ok with the signing. It's not long term, it's not a lot of money. If they think he's the starting point guard that will take this team to the next level then they appear to be valuing his intangibles more than his tangibles, which I think is a serious mistake at the point guard position.