The Oregonian’s John Canzano questioned the Blazer’s front office this morning in his column. He stated that, while the Magic, Suns and Wizards were making improvements on Saturday, Portland was trading “meaningless baskets with the lottery-bound Golden State Warriors.” I’m sorry, but I was under the impression that a win against the Warriors goes in the W column just like a win against the Lakers or the Celts. In fact, Portland was playing without Camby, Roy, Batum and Przybilla, and probably needed this win as much as any since they’ll have to beat all of the bad teams from here on out to stay on pace for the playoffs.
It turns out Canzano’s main point is that he doesn’t think GM, Rich Cho, can stand up to Paul Allen and get deals done. Hold on, Canzano, what deals did you want him to make? Cho joined the organization this past off-season, and took over a team that many picked to be one of the best in the West. Not exactly a team you’d want to tamper with, especially after signing Wesley Matthews to a five-year contract just a week before Cho was hired. And just because you think the Blazers need an extra body somewhere, doesn’t mean that body is readily available on the market mid-season, and that the perfect trade will just materialize. This isn’t NBA Live 2011. According to ESPN’s Ric Bucher, the Blazers actually did offer the Sixers Nic Batum and Joel Przybilla for Andre Iguodala a few days ago. Whether you agree with the offer or not, it was a fair offer and a sign that the Blazers front office is, in fact, not sitting around with their thumbs up their butts as Canzano would have us believe.
There are obviously some tradable pieces on this team. Aldridge and Batum are easily the most tradable players, being young, talented and not relatively overpaid, but Batum is experiencing problems with his shoulder again, and other teams are likely to shy away from the Blazer’s injury bug. That could have affected the Sixers’ decision in the trade offer mentioned above. Matthews is another valuable trade piece. He’s only 24 with a very manageable contract (about $6M per season) that lasts until 2015, but the Blazers are probably better off keeping him with his recent surge and Roy’s injury problems. Rudy would normally be tradable, with good range and decent scoring ability, but he has said before that he doesn’t want to play in the NBA. That’s kind of a turn off.
Roy and Oden are pretty much untradeable, and Camby and Miller are old. Perhaps next season if a team wants in on their expiring contracts, we could see Camby or Miller shipped off for younger pieces, but probably not this season.
I can’t say for sure whether or not Cho can make a trade. I don’t know what it’s like to make decisions for billionaires, but I think it’s too early in the season to be labeling Cho as someone who can’t get a deal done. Until recently, there has been no need to make deals. Then they apparently tried to bring a scoring 3-man to Portland in Iguodala, but Philly wouldn’t take it. I feel like this is another example of Canzano trying to stir up readers because he has nothing better to do. Canzano, find something better to do, please.