Let me begin by saying that I am a diehard Blazer fan. My wife and I have had season tickets the last 4-5 years and have enjoyed going to watch our team defend the home turf. Sadly we will not be getting tickets next year, not because the Blazers did not have a winning season but because we are tired of the terrible customer service the organization allows to represent it. But I digress. ‘Nuff said. Moving on.
I think with a new GM and a coach that are onboard with the same task of rebuilding the team Portland has a shot of becoming a winning team again. Having said that I think there will be ALOT of turnover in this off-season. Below is a list of the current roster. Those names with a S next I think will leave and the people with a G next to their will be gone and finally a W for who knows. Pretty simple. I may elaborate as to why I think the way I do.
- LaMarcus Aldridge – S – I think this speaks for itself as LA is the franchise right now.
- Luke Babbitt – W – Luke has had some moments that ranged from inspired to clumsy and without a clue.
- Nicolas Batum – S – I think Portland would be monumentally dumb not to sign Batum to a long-term contract.
- Jamal Crawford – G – Too streaky and seemed to be out only for himself. Not a team player or more to the point a fit within Portland.
- Raymond Felton – G – Too streaky and not good enough I think to be the started Portland should have starting for them.
- Jonny Flynn – W – I don’t know too much about this kid so I cannot comment.
- J.J. Hickson – S – I think he was an excellent addition to Portland roster. I think it would be a real shame if Portland let him get away. He is big and is a workhorse where ever he is at and what he is doing whether it is rebounding, defending or scoring.
- Wesley Matthews – W – I like Wesley but he has been really streaky and has turned into a 3-point shooter for his break-and-butter. With his body type and size I would like to see him drive the lane more often like B-Roy did.
- Joel Przybilla – W – I really like Joel and think he is a stand-up guy but I think his best days are behind him and he will be coming in off the bench the rest of his career.
- Craig Smith – W – Who knows.
- Nolan Smith – W – I don’t know too much about this kid so I cannot comment.
- Hasheem Thabeet – G – I think he is a little confused on the court and doesn’t have especially good hands. Also with his size I would like to see either more scoring or blocked shots and I didn’t see much of that.
- Kurt Thomas – W – He is old but works hard. Who knows.
- Elliot Williams – W – I don’t know too much about this kid so I cannot comment.
- Shawne Williams – W – I don’t know too much about this kid so I cannot comment.
Out of the entire roster I think only three people are assured of having their job with Portland next year, LA, Batum and J.J. Hickson. I think almost everybody else is expendable. Too many people were streaky or didn’t step up.
With a 6 and 11 pick in the draft Portland has some opportunities for some long-term talent as the draft is supposed to be deep this year. Whether they make some trades for already tried players or get a couple rookies who show promise and can remain healthy this could be a very good thing for Portland.
We have just 10 days to wait for the draft and even after that we wont know what will be the Portland roster until we get closer to season start time with all the trades Portland will be making.
On another note, I would like to say here is what Portland’s Dream Team/all-star Team could have looked like if people remained healthy.
- LA – Power Forward
- B-Roy – Shooting Guard
- Batum – Small Forward
- Greg Oden – Center
- Andre Miller – Point Guard – since we have a ton of turn over here…meh…who knows so I plugged in who I thought was probably the best we had in a while.
I think had Oden and Roy remained healthy Portland would have been a contender for the next 5-8 years. Sadly with injury we saw several careers get derailed.
More to come…