Monday, May 19, 2008

Monday speculation

The NBA rumor mill, which lies dormant for a few months after the trade deadline, gets going again with the Draft Lottery just a day away (don't miss the party at the Rose Garden. I'll be there!). Lets take a look at some of the speculation.

In regards to Jose Calderon's veiled trade request, Marcus Thompson II of the Contra Costa Times writes ...
This apparent rift between the two point guards puts the Raptors management in a tough spot. Ford is practically untradeable, with his injury history and the $24 million of guaranteed money remaining on his contract. But Calderon, they don't really want to trade him. Not only do they like him more than Ford (and would have no problem trading him), but Calderon is a restricted free agent, which means they could match any offer he receives without regard to the salary cap. And with more supply than demand, this offseason market isn't expected to be favorable for players, so the Raptors could keep Calderon for relatively cheap.

Trading Calderon may be the most feasible and profitable way to end the backcourt drama. Look for the Los Angeles Clippers, who need a point guard and can shop Corey Maggette, to be interested in Calderon. Ditto for Portland, who needs a proven point guard and has pieces to move.

The mentioning of Maggette to Toronto in exchange for Calderon came up last week in a column by Frank Zicarelli of the Toronto Sun.
That is why a change in scenery for Calderon is best for all parties concerned.

People have been clamouring for a player such as Corey Maggette of the Los Angeles Clippers, an athletic wing who is capable of averaging 20 a night and attacking the rim.

The Clippers can use a point guard and Calderon's family probably wouldn't object to southern California's warm climate.

It's just one of many possibilities to ponder as July 1 approaches and as the Raptors try to solve their mess at the point position.

A few things here. Is a guy like Calderon worth giving up some of the talented young players the Blazers currently have? That's what it would take.

Secondly, even if the Blazers did decide to make an offer, could it possibly be better than a Clipper offer featuring Corey Maggette? I don't know the answer to either of those questions. Do you?

Next up, we have Tom Moore of (which is the online home for three Philadelphia-area newspapers) floating Channing Frye and James Jones as possible targets for the 76ers.
If Wilcox doesn't pan out, the Trail Blazers might be worth a long look. Assuming Greg Oden is healthy, Portland has a glut of big men. With the Blazers committed to LaMarcus Aldridge alongside Oden, could Stefanski land Channing Frye for the pick and a player?


If Stefanski has some money left, Portland small forward James Jones (44.4 percent 3-point shooting) would be a significant upgrade with his perimeter scoring and shouldn't be too costly. Jones holds a $3.2 million player option for next season.

Interesting proposals. As far as Frye for the 76ers pick (which would be the No. 16 pick in the first round) and a player, I guess it could happen. I'm skeptical of the notion that the Blazers would want to add another player from the draft on top of the pick they'll already have, but nothing is off the table when it comes to Kevin Pritchard and the draft.

In regards to the player, the 76ers certainly have some intriguing young guys, but I'm not sure they'd be willing to part with the players Portland would want. And again, you have to wonder if bringing in another second or third year player is something Nate McMillan or the shot callers in the front office are willing to do.

In regards to James Jones, I agree that he probably wouldn't be "too costly," but if that truly is the case, I'd figure KP would want to keep him around.

So what are you opinions/thoughts on these trade ideas? Is Calderon worth giving up what it might take to get him? Is Channing Frye a keeper? Can you let a guy like James Jones walk? Lets get a little conversation going in the comments.


Philski said...

While I would really like the Blazers to be able to get Jose Calderon, I wouldn't want to give up Travis (the player I've heard Toronto wants) in order to get him. I don't think Calderon's nearly good enough defensively to make up for the offensive improvement that the Blazers would get with Calderon in the lineup. If you add in the loss of Travis, then I think the trade would be a negative for the Blazers.

Giving up Channing to get Andre Miller would not be a good move for the Blazers either. I don't see Andre Miller as an upgrade over Steve Blake. I'd much rather have Steve's defense and 3-point shooting ability.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Blazers use their 1st round pick (likely the 13th) and some of their second round picks and/or a player (Jarrett Jack ?) in order to move up enough to get Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is by far the best defensive Point Guard (other than Rose) in the draft. The Blazers will be able to win more games by keeping players like Paul, Williams, Parker and Nash out of the paint, than by any other single adjustment they can make.


Casey Holdahl said...

That's a great point Phil. I've had the same thoughts about Outlaw, though I've chalked it up to liking Travis as a person as well as a basketball player. Basically, I question whether I can trust my own judgment regarding some of our players. It's good to hear other people thinking that maybe giving up Outlaw isn't worth getting Calderon.

As far as Andre Miller goes, I think he might be an upgrade over Blake, but you're probably getting him for just a year. I also question why a point guard of Miller's caliber has been on four different teams.

I like Westbrook as well, but I have a feeling that he won't be available at No. 13. Fingers crossed though.

Philski said...

I agree that Westbrook will likely be gone by the 13th pick, and that's why I think that it's essential that the Blazers move up to get him. Westbrook can help the Blazers (probably more than any other player other than Rose), and luckily the Blazers have the necessary bargaining chips to trade up a few spots (ahead of Indiana).

Travis has the ability to take (and make !) the pressure shot in the 4th Quarter. Add in the fact that he fits in well with Brandon and LaMarcus in the offense during crunch time, and that makes him a very valuable commodity for the Blazers. Travis is definitely going to continue to get better. He is far from hitting his ceiling as a player.

However, the player whom I feel will end up making the biggest improvement next year will be Martell. If he can continue to improve his defense, his rebounding and his ball-handling (all things he is working on this Summer), he will end up being that Bowen/Battier type of player that the Blazers need him to become. Martell had a good year, and showed glimpses of what he's capable of doing. His upside offensively is much, much higher than either Battier or Bowen, but he isn't as consistent at this point in his career. Bowen and Battier were also heads and shoulders above Martell defensively this past year, but who knows about next year. Hopefully, the gap will be closing ...