Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 2/28/12
Giving the Vanilla Gorilla More Bananas is Fruitless for Blazers

The denizens of Rip City rejoiced on Sunday with the signing of former Portland TrailBlazers center Joel Przybilla. In his first stint as a Blazer from 2004-11, he averaged 4.8 points, and 7.3 rebounds per game.

His 607 blocks are fifth on Portland’s all-time list. Blah, blah, blah.

I really want to say that this move is irrelevant, but signing Przybilla, 32 is not completely pointless because Portland’s frontline always needs an insurance policy given the franchise’s history with centers. Centers Marcus Camby, 37 and Kurt Thomas, 40 have logged significant minutes in the condensed NBA season and it seems apparent that head coach Nate McMillian does not trust 26 year-old Chris Johnson enough to play him.

The move is a low-risk one that appeals to fans and will sell a few more tickets in the upper bowl. There are five reasons that signing Joel Przybilla was not the move the Trail Blazers needed to make at this time.

One More Injury Prone Player

The gangs of doctors and physical therapists over at the Rebound Clinic located across the plaza from the Rose Garden Arena already have their hands full with the bumps and bruises the Blazers have received this season.

Przybilla’s knee has been out of service since the Trail Blazers dealt him for Gerald Wallace last season, and there are no reasons to think that he won’t break down when the second half kicks into gear.

Frontline is Already Too Old

On the court Camby, Thomas, and Przybilla make up the oldest trio of centers in the league. There is something to be said for experience, but how much do you need? Young centers are tough to come by, but Johnson is already on their roster and deserves more playing time.

If the Blazers inquired, I am sure that Robert Parish and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are available for 10-day contracts.

I have hope that this is not the splash that the Trail Blazers had in mind for the looming March trade deadline.

Point Guard Issue was NOT Addressed

It is no secret that the Trail Blazers desperately need a point guard. Nobody will ever argue that second-year guard Armon Johnson was the answer to solving Raymond Felton’s woes or that he deserved any more playing time than he already received.

One of the last things that Portland should do is let a point guard go when you don’t have a viable one to replace him.

Not a Playoff Move

If Trail Blazers acting general manager Chad Buchanan does not want to address the Felton situation yet, that’s his prerogative, but the Blazers brass owes it to season ticket holders to make moves that make them at least a partial contender.

If Przybilla was playing like he did in his prime six years ago the move wouldn’t have made them a contender, so one can imagine what it means now.

Management needs to make a move that matters in the wins column.


Not a Lottery Move

As it stands right now, Portland is on the outside looking in on the Western Conference playoff picture. The team is in the dangerous territory of average in professional sports.

They are not losing enough to get an upgrade in talent through the draft and they are not winning enough to be relevant.

With LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews, Wallace and Camby the Blazers have the pieces to warrant a number of first-round picks for years to come.

I have hope that this is not the splash that the Trail Blazers had in mind for the looming March trade deadline. NWSB writer Rick Stella provided us with five trades the brass at One Center Court could make.

In order to regain relevance, Buchanan needs to peel off some fruitful moves in the weeks to come.


© Blair Thomas for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

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Post tags: Blazers basketball blog, chad buchanan, Chris Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Gossip, Headlines, Joel Przybilla, Kurt Thomas, LaMarcus Al, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Nate McMillan, NBA, NBA Blogs, Nicolas Batum, Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Trailblazers, Portland Trailblazers news, Portland Trailblazers Notebook, Raymond Felton, RIP City, Rose Garden Arena, Trail Blazers, trail blazers blog, Trail Blazers Injuries, trailblazers, Trailblazers NBA News, Wesley Matthews

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