Tag:Portland Trail Blazers
Posted on: August 3, 2010 8:10 pm
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Posted on: August 2, 2010 10:34 am
Edited on: August 2, 2010 10:42 am
Posted by Royce Young
Posted on: July 29, 2010 1:59 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 1:57 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Northwest Division has become one of the best and most competitive divisions in the league. There's rising teams, star power, a traditional great and then there's the Timberwolves. Regardless, it's a fairly fascinating groups of teams that all had quite different summers.
Utah JazzAdded : Al Jefferson (trade), Raja Bell (free agency), Gordon Hayward (draft)
Lost : Kyle Korver (free agency), Ronnie Brewer (free agency), Carlos Boozer (free agency), Wesley Matthews
Philosophy : "Keep on keepin' on."
Lose one star player, replace him with another. It's just how this Jazz train keeps on a'rollin'. Utah scored Al Jefferson for relatively nothing and he replaces the exported Carlos Boozer quite well. The Jazz love that pick and roll and Jefferson should be able to team with Deron Williams to keep it at a high level. They also signed Raja Bell who is a pesky defensive player. However, losing Wesley Matthews stings a bit just because he was a rookie last year and appears to have a promising future ahead. But Utah just didn't want to pay the price tag to keep him.
Drafting Gordon Hayward certainly helps as he'll look to fill some of the void left by Matthews and Kyle Korver who signed with Chicago. This offseason was more of just scrambling to maintain in Utah and with the Jefferson deal, it looks like it should do that. A lot depends on the progression of Hayward because he'll see meaningful minutes, but the Jazz didn't let a mass exodus to Chicago burn down their walls.
Grade : B
Denver NuggetsAdded : Al Harrington (free agency), Shelden Williams (free agency), Brian Butch (free agency), George Karl's returned good health (hopefully)
Lost : Johan Petro (free agency), Malik Allen (free agency), Joey Graham (free agency)
Philosophy : "Staying good, but not great."
Denver is a team that feels like it's a piece away. Just one player to push them over the edge from good, competitive playoff team to great, actual contender team. So they signed Al Harrington. Is he that piece? Eh...
The reality is the Nuggets will be good. Their starting five has Chauncey Billups, Arron Afflalo, Carmelo Anthony, Harrington and Nene. That's pretty darn solid. Then instant offense with J.R. Smith off the bench, defense in Chris Andersen and quality players in Kenyon Martin and Ty Lawson. That's a pretty stout roster. But is that really good enough? This is clearly a 50-win team and it's destined for a top five seed in the West. But can it get to the Western Finals, which of course is the goal for a squad of this caliber? Again, eh...
Grade : C+
Portland Trail BlazersAdded : Luke Babbitt (draft), Eliot Williams (draft), Wesley Matthews (free agency), Marcus Camby (re-signed)
Lost : Martell Webster (trade), Juwan Howard (free agency), Travis Diener (free agency),
Philosophy : "Get right."
If there was a goal for the Blazers this offseason, it was simple. It wasn't to sign a big name or move up in the draft. It wasn't to restructure or make a big trade. It was just to get healthy.
Nobody dealt with the adversity Portland did last year. Greg Oden. Joel Pryzbilla. Brandon Roy. Nic Batum. Rudy Fernandez. All of those players missed at least some significant time because of an injury. And yet, the Blazers won 50 games and made the playoffs. That's... impressive.
But Portland didn't sit on its hands this summer. The Blazers re-signed Marcus Camby, who was huge for them down the stretch. The traded Martell Webster to grab Luke Babbitt, an extremely promising and gifted forward from Nevada. They inked Wesley Matthews to a big deal, who is someone that will give them a little scoring insurance and wing defender help. The turned over the front office and hopefully remedied any tense situations between ownership and management. Now there are talks they'll lose Fernandez who sees the logjam in the backcourt in Portland, but Matthews and Williams are worth replacements.
All in all, not a bad offseason for the Blazers. Is it enough to push ahead in the West? That depends on the factors that snuck up and bit them last year: health.
Grade : B+
Oklahoma City ThunderAdded : Cole Aldrich (trade/draft), Morris Peterson (trade), Royal Ivey (free agency), Daequan Cook (trade), Kevin Durant (contract extension)
Lost : Kevin Ollie (retirement), Etan Thomas (free agency), Kyle Weaver (waived)
Philosophy : "If you think it's good now, just wait until we grow up."
Most saw the Thunder's cap space and expected something. Something big. Something grand to take them from up-and-comer to favorite in the West. Maybe go grab Chris Bosh. Maybe make a run at Amar'e Stoudemire. Maybe flag down Carlos Boozer. Instead, Oklahoma City did what it does best: stuck to the plan.
Rather than blowing its extra cap room, OKC deferred to utilizing its assets to move up in the draft and fill a need from the ground up. This is a franchise that is absolutely committed to the long term and to player development. Most agreed the Thunder needed an tough, physical inside prescence to defend the paint and rebound. So what did they do? They went and got the best player at those two things in the draft in Cole Aldrich.
Another underrated move from OKC was acquiring Daequan Cook from Miami. The Heat were looking to dump any contract player to anyone to make room for basketball free agency apocolypse, so the Thunder got a former 3-point champ and shooting specialist at a discount price of a single second-round pick.
Oh, and one other thing: They signed Kevin Durant to a five-year extension. I'd say in terms of what the Thunder's goals were before the summer started and how it finished, they'd say mission accomplished.
Grade : B+
Minnesota TimberwolvesAdded : Darko Milicic (re-signed), Michael Beasley (trade), Luke Ridnour (free agency), Delonte West (trade), Sebastian Telfair (trade), Lazar Hayward (draft), Kosta Koufos (trade), Martell Webster (trade), Wesley Johnson (draft),
Lost : Ramon Sessions (trade), Ryan Hollins (trade), Al Jefferson (trade), Delonte West (waived), Ryan Gomes (free agency), Damien Wilkins (free agency), Sasha Pavlovic (free agency), Brian Cardinal (free agency), Alando Tucket (waived), what remaining respect David Kahn had from media and fans of the NBA
Philosophy : "..."
Honestly, you know what David Kahn reminds me of a bit? Someone that likes playing fantasy football just so he can call other players, offer up deals, trade players and sign others off waivers. Sometimes it seems like Kahn makes moves just for the sake of not getting bored.
No one can determine a real plan from here. My best guess at what he's doing is trying to put together a roster Ricky Rubio likes and then build a team around that. That's all I can figure. They have a bunch of draft picks and some cap space, but those things aren't great when the man in charge doesn't know what to do with it.
What exactly is going on there though? What's the point of signing Sessions and then signing Ridnour just to trade Sessions? I don't get it. Basically Kahn traded a player he signed for $16 million for Sebastian Telfair. Huh? Then of course the Darko deal. What? Then drafting Wesley Johnson only to bring in a player via trade in Webster that plays the same position. Come again? Then trading Al Jefferson, the face of your franchise, for a couple draft picks. Excuse me?
There's just no rhyme or reason to all this right now. I have no idea what to grade it because I have no idea what the questions even are. Did they get better? I don't know. Did they get worse? I don't really know. Did they set themselves up for the future? I have no idea.
If Sam Presti and Daryl Morey are playing chess and everyone else is playing checkers, right now it looks like everyone else is playing checkers and David Kahn is playing duck-duck-goose.
Grade : D-
Posted on: July 28, 2010 10:51 am
Edited on: July 28, 2010 11:09 am
Posted by Royce Young
Rudy Fernandez wants to be traded. He's wanted to be traded since before the draft. The Blazers got close with a few teams, but nothing ever materialized. It even got to the point Fernandez said he preferred to return to Europe.
And currently, Portland is talking to a bunch of teams about the shooting guard, reports The Oregonian . According to the report, Boston, Chicago and New York are all in the running for Fernandez.
Some of the teams interested in Fernandez have offered a future first round draft pick, while other offers would pair Fernandez with another Blazers player, according to the report. In a story from the Chicago Tribune , James Johnson is reportedly being shopped and is part of an offer to Portland for Fernandez. If Chicago were to complete that deal, Tracy McGrady's chances to play for the Bulls just got slim.
"I've spoken to Andy and I'm aware of Rudy's feelings," general manager Rich Cho said. "But at the end of the day we are going to make the best decision for the franchise."
Miller says he expects a trade to be made in the near future. Fernandez will earn about $1.25 million next season and his contract includes a team option for 2011-12.
Posted on: July 27, 2010 11:34 am
Edited on: July 27, 2010 11:36 am
Posted by Royce Young
A report on Outside the Lines Monday looked in detail at stadium food and the vendors that serve it. The report compiled inspection reports for 107 venues and the results were pretty interesting. Or maybe actually, disturbing.
For instance, remember how Ted Leonsis said he was going to take everything up a notch for the Wizards' home games to make fan experience as good as it can be? Well, maybe instead of urinal cup holders he should start with removing the mice droppings for his concession stands. One hundred percent of the vendors in the Verizon Center were found in criticial violation. Yikes.
Some of the worst scores in the NBA :
Some of the best were the Bulls and Raptors who had a stellar zero percent found in critical violation, the Thunder, the Lakers and Clippers, the Cavs, the Rockets, the Grizzlies and the 76ers. All of those scored under 20 percent.
Nobody goes to a game thinking they're getting a five star meal. And every food establishment battles these issues. But regardless, it's eye-opening. Knowing that mice poo could be near your hot dog in Madison Square Garden or raw meat next to some tacos in Portland is a little disturbing. Well, scratch that. A lot disturbing.
Posted on: July 24, 2010 1:16 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2010 1:18 pm
Posted by Royce Young
The Chris Paul situation is heating up. He has a meeting with the team Monday that could influence him to stay or maybe to go. And now there's a report telling the world where he wants to be: Orlando.
Chris Broussard of ESPN reports the Magic have emerged as Paul's top preferred destination, supplanting the New York Knicks. In the story, Broussard mentions that while the Knicks are still high on Paul's list, he believes the Magic would be a better fit. Plus, CP3 also realizes Orlando has much more to offer New Orleans in a trade and thus believes it's a more realistic destination than New York,
CP3's desire to play in New York is largely tied to Carmelo Anthony and the chance to form a new Big 3 in the Big Apple with Amar'e Stoudemire. But that's not a guaranteed situation, especially with reports indicating Anthony prefers to re-sign with Denver. On top of that, the Knicks probably will be able to present the least attractive offer to the Hornets. Ken Berger's original report mentioned the Hornets would want to move Emeka Okafor with Paul, and if the Knicks took back Okafor, they wouldn't have the cap space to sign Anthony anyway in 2011.
Paul does have two years left on his contract so the Hornets don't have to move him by any means. But the team understands the predicament its star is in and realizes the unwanted situation new coach Monty Williams would have starting his coaching career with an unhappy star.
That's why the Hornets may indeed decide to trade Paul. But New Orleans would not limit itself to the four clubs on Paul's list, Broussard points out. Instead, the Hornets would look for the best deal for its franchise, according to his sources.
Currently the four teams Paul reportedly prefers are the Knicks, the Magic, the Mavericks and the Trail Blazers. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported on Friday that Paul's agent Leon Rose reached out to all four teams this week. The Bobcats and Nets have also made inquiries about packaging a deal for CP3.
If Monday's meeting doesn't go well for the Paul camp, there are teams lined up ready to pony up just about anything to grab CP3. This thing is getting good. Well, that is unless you're a Hornets fan.
Posted on: July 22, 2010 8:16 am
Posted by Royce Young
Posted on: July 20, 2010 10:55 am
Edited on: July 20, 2010 10:56 am
Posted by Royce Young
Rudy Fernandez has been a pretty hot topic over the past few months. Multiple teams have made a run at him, most notably the Knicks, but Portland hasn't found a suitor. He wants to be traded, the Blazers want to trade him and the Knicks want him traded (to them).
But all that might be over soon. Fernandez told the Spanish website El Mundo Deportivo that he prefers a return to Spain. HoopsHype translates :
"If I could reach an agreement with Portland, so that they would not trade me to another NBA team and they would accept my return to Europe, I'd be pleased. ... My agents are looking for the best trade for me, but at the end of the day only Portland can decide."
That's kind of sort of huge. Fernandez reportedly had a list of four teams he wished to be traded to and it's looking like an ideal deal for him isn't on the horizon. Maybe this is some kind of threat so that the Blazers get something done soon. Maybe Fernandez really would prefer to return to Europe and resume his career there.
Whatever the case, have fun your first day on the job Rich Cho!