You be the GM: Who Are YOUR Untouchable Players?

neil olshey

To be honest, almost everybody on our current roster could be traded for the right price (package of players and picks). Of course, there are exceptions to that.

When I say “untouchable,” I mean “untradeable.” I’m talking about players who we would not trade, no matter what.

To be honest, I only have two untouchable players: Damian Lillard and Nicolas Batum. Before you criticize me for not putting more players in that list, let me explain.

I didn’t put All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge on that list for one reason. If the rumors are that he wants out, we should let him go. I wouldn’t think that move comes this summer, but if he really does want out, I say we let him go next summer. At that point, he’ll have the leverage over Blazers management, with just one year left on his contract.

I also didn’t put fan-favorite Wesley Matthews on that list for a reason. To be honest, I am one of those fans that LOVES Matthews. I like his demeanor, work ethic, and the fact that he can play through pain when needed. However, I think if we can get a player or package of players that makes the team better, then we should take the deal.

Everybody else on our roster would probably be a bench player (second-string player) on most other NBA rosters.

If you were GM Neil Olshey, who would your untouchable players would be? Let me know in the comments below!!

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Blazers Burned by Suns in Game 1 of Las Vegas Summer League

McCollum

Portland controlled the ball game for the entire first half, but were unable to get the job done tonight.

Blazers’ rookie CJ McCollum was outstanding in his first game, recording a nice stat line of 22 points and 4 assists. After the game, when Blazers guard Damian Lillard was asked to give McCollum’s performance a grade, he gave an A. However, McCollum gave himself a B-. I LOVE seeing a player give himself a grade that low even when they had a good stat line. It shows that they believe they can do better.

Meyers Leonard had 7 points and 9 rebounds in the game, which you always want to see. He will be a more productive player of the bench for the team next season. Will Barton also had 13 points and 2 assists. However, most of his production came late into the game, when it was too late. However, while his efficiency was low, he took good shot attempts, many near the basket.

Victor Claver left the game in the first quarter with a right quad contusion and did not return. While his status is not certain, he did not sound very optimistic.

The Blazers put up a good fight, but just couldn’t hold their lead. The final: Phoenix Suns 82, Portland Trail Blazers 69

Blazers Ink Wright, Watson

dorrell wright

Reports came out this morning that the Blazers had agreed to sign free agent small forward Dorrell Wright. Wright had received interest from the Oklahoma City Thunder, but choose Portland because he felt he would fit well into Blazers coach Terry Stott’s system. Wright’s contract, which is reported to be 2 years, $6 million, would leave the Blazers with just enough cap space to sign a player to the veteran’s minimum.

Wright is a sharpshooter who will keep the floor spread. In his last season with the Philadelphia 76ers, he averaged 9.2 points on 37 percent shooting from three point range. His 6-foot-9 frame also gives him the ability to drive down the lane if needed.

In my opinion, I love the signing. He can easily spot up and shoot the three pointers. His ability to shoot well causes the defender to stay on him, instead of helping on defense in the post. This opens up space for forwards like LaMarucus Aldridge to go to work down low. It also provides a spot-up shooter, should a driving guard need to pass out.

Later that afternoon, rumors had surfaced that the Blazers signed free agent point guard Earl Watson. Watson, who last played for the Utah Jazz, recorded averages of 2 points and 4 assists in 17.3 minutes per game off the bench. However, he only played in 48 games. Without knowing it, he had been playing the entire season with a sports hernia. Since he first found out, he has had it treated and will be in shape to play for the Blazers come opening night.

Watson was the one last player Portland could sign, using the veterans minimum. He will make $1.4 million this upcoming season, the only year on his contract.

I am not in love with the signing, but I don’t think its bad. Watson will likely be a third string point guard who can provide relief at his position in the scenario that one of the two players above him gets hurt. I wouldn’t expect him to play for much this season, but regardless, he will help the team. He is a class act off the court and will help young player like guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum how to behave and act off the court.

There is only one reason I don’t like this signing. I feel that we should have addressed the need of defensive center with the remaining cap space. We could have gotten free agent center Samuel Dalembert, who last played for the Milwaukee Bucks. Regardless, I will take the signing and move on.

How do you guys feel about Wright and Watson? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

~BlazersBySagar

Blazers Acquire Lopez in 3-Team Trade

robin lopez

An interesting trade rumor surfaced today regarding Sacramento Kings free agent guard Tyreke Evans. Yesterday, the New Orleans Pelicans offered him a 4 year, $44 million contract. However, the Kings planned to match, as Evans was a restricted free agent. Because Evans wanted a change of scenery, and I couldn’t blame him. Portland had to step in and play facilitator.

In this trade, the Kings would send Evans to the Pelicans. The Pelicans would send guard Greivis Vasquez to the Kings, center Robin Lopez to the Blazers, and guard Terrell Harris to the Blazers. The Blazers would send center Jeff Withey to the Pelicans and a second round draft pick to the Kings.

I honestly am liking the trade more and more by the hour. Lopez can be a starter at center, at least for the time being. While some say he is weak on defense, which is the Blazers biggest demand, he recorded 1.6 blocks in 26 minutes of playing time in his career year last season. He averaged 11.3 points and 5.6 rebounds to go along with his blocks. However, I think the way he plays defense doesn’t get recorded on the stat line.

The guy is a monster, what with the 7 foot frame and red-head afro. The fact that he’s just around the rim probably affects some shots. It probably intimidates some guards penetrating to the hoop, causing them to change their shot when they don’t need to. It works the same way for New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler and Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert.

As for Harris, expect him to be instantly waived. He’s spend most of his time in the D-League, and he was probably used in this trade just to even out the salaries. I think we’ll be fine without him.

I am fine giving up Withey, as we got a better center back, but I feel as if the draft pick was a bit unnecessary. As of now, I can confidently say we won’t have to worry about second round draft picks for some time.

It’s a good trade, in my eyes. However, I have an idea that I haven’t heard much on Twitter. What if we used Lopez as an asset and dealt him along with Blazers free agent forward J.J. Hickson to the Houston Rockets for center Omer Asik. Of course, this only works if free agent center Dwight Howard chooses to go to the Rockets. We’ll learn about his decision in a matter of hours.

Once again, Olshey got something out of nothing. He got an up and coming young center for pocket change. I like the fact that it didn’t cost much.

How do you guys feel on the trade? Let me know in the comments below!!

Until next time,

~BlazersBySagar

Trade For Asik?

omer asik

I have an idea for you Blazers fans!!

If Dwight Howard signs with the Houston Rockets, Houston center Omer Asik will be on the trading block (if he isn’t already). Many Blazers fans want Asik, and why wouldn’t we? He’s TALL, young, can score, can rebound, and can play defense.

In this scenario, the fact that Howard lands in Houston is largely in part because of the Blazers trading for Thomas Robinson (see my article from yesterday) and picking up his contract. The Blazers did Houston a HUGE favor, and that can help Portland land Asik.

We’ll have to acquire Asik in a trade. My idea was that we send power forward J.J. Hickson (sign-and-trade) to land Asik. If we want to shed some cap space, we can package shooting guard Sasha Pavlovic as well.

What do you guys think? Let me know, and leave YOUR ideas in the comments!!

Until next time,

~BlazersBySagar