Deadline Blows UP The Blazers Roster
After weeks of speculation that Ray Felton and/or Jamal Crawford would be the first two names you would see on the Thursday morning ticker on their way out of Rip City, it surprised me to see that the two names being shipped out of town are Gerald Wallace and Marcus Camby.
The Portland Trail Blazers are in full rebuild mode based on all their actions Thursday afternoon.
When you hear that they traded Wallace, a do anything and everything type player, one that could impact the game on both ends of the floor and fill the stat sheet to the New Jersey Nets for a busted Mehmet Okur, a much traveled and equally busted Shawne Williams and a protected 2012 first round pick (believed to be top 3 protected).
From a front office standpoint, this deal makes some sense, as the Blazers front office feels that they can replace Wallace’s production with an impact rookie, possibly Harrison Barnes or Perry Jones.
At thirty years old and in his tenth season, Wallace is in the midst of his career.
No longer the player with “potential” and not yet the cagey veteran, Wallace was brought in last season to help get the Blazers over the hump and team up with LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, and Ray Felton to push the Blazers deep into the playoffs.
Welcome to Rip City, Shawne! We're, like, stop 29 for you, right?
Obviously looking to shake things up and clear room for the upcoming free agent class, the Blazers rid themselves of Wallace’s expensive player option next season, which will help create a deeper wallet for summer spending.
While Williams has a $3.1 million player option at the end of this season, the difference between Wallace and Williams is about $6.4 million.
MONEY To Spend
Pulling out the abacus, that means that the Blazers will have about $22 million entering the summer.
If you throw in a couple of fingers and toes to add in potentially moving Jamal Crawford’s $5.2 million player option contract (with all the rumors at trade deadline, you have to assume that JCrossover isnt staying in the Rose Garden next season), the Blazers have a truck load of money to renovate their house with.
So what does this all mean for the Blazers?
One has to assume that they will try to fill Wallace’s void by moving Nic Batum into the vacant spot and some sort of combo of Crawford, Wesley Matthews and Felton will man the backcourt.
When all the smoke clears after Thursday’s movement, the Blazers starting lineup on Friday evening in Chicago could see either Luke Babbitt or Joel Przybilla as part of the pregame introductions.
For Wallace, he will no doubtingly see his stats bounce back to where they were in Charlotte as he completes what could be a nice starting lineup in New Jersey alongside Deron Williams, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez.
One that Billy King hopes is good enough to keep Williams with the team when it moves to Brooklyn (ok, who are we kidding…….Williams pretty much has his name on the back of a Mavs jersey).
It appears as though the Trail Blazers will attempt to win in the long run, by losing in the short run.
The Blazers brass have all but put the nail in the coffin this season, with hopes that by dropping a couple of extra L’s in the next twenty three games, their own draft pick, plus the Nets draft pick, which with the addition of Wallace, hope to bring a couple more W”s to the swamp means that Portland will have two impact rookies on their roster next season.
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© Steve Lee for North West Sports Beat, 2012. |
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