How do we right the ship? Let's talk about some offseason fixes that could put us back into the contention conversation. [long post]
2023.03.24 19:28 jackalope503 How do we right the ship? Let's talk about some offseason fixes that could put us back into the contention conversation. [long post]
I, like many Blazer fans, am frustrated with yet another season of Dame's prime down the drain and wanted to jot down some ideas of how we could get the team back in the right direction. I'll break this up into three sections: coaching, trades/the draft, and free agency. Keep in mind I'm just a fan playing backseat GM, trying to balance NBA salaries and keep acquisitions realistic (no KD for Reddish and a second round pick lol). This is a completely hypothetical exercise for fun, obviously real life trades and signings are way more complicated than me playing with a trade machine and looking up salaries. If you've got some ideas, think I've completely missed the mark on something or just think I'm an idiot and this post sucks let me know! Obligatory: Jody, sell the team you wretched gargoyle. Alright let's get to it. Coaching
: The Chauncey hiring was surprising to say the least and it just isn't working. A first-time HC with barely a year of assistant experience was a recipe for disaster for a team that claims it wants to put a contender on the floor. Personally, at the time I was hoping for MDA to get the job and would have been excited/intrigued if it ended up being Hammon. I don't think either of them would answer the phone for Portland now after how that played out but there still are some excellent 'free agent' coaches out there who I think the front office should reach out to.
-Frank Vogel: I'd imagine several teams will be contacting Vogel this summer. A proven winner and excellent tactician with a reputation for being defensive-minded. He's no Popovich but I think he's the best coaching candidate available right now. Vogel brings in a hard-nosed professional culture day one that I think would serve us really well. Where it gets tricky is outbidding teams that might be courting him in the offseason. Teams like Houston, maybe Chicago, Charlotte and/or Washington I think are all potential candidates for coaching changes.
-Kenny Atkinson: Might be an overlooked option to fans but his name routinely comes up when talking about top head coach prospects. An assistant for years with New York and later Atlanta, at HC he led a pretty bad rebuilding Nets team to over-perform in the playoffs and gained a reputation as an excellent talent developer and players' coach. He was run out of town when the KD and Kyrie circus came through which I think he gets a pass for. Atkinson turned down a head coaching offer from Charlotte in favor of being an assistant for Golden State so it remains to be seen if he's currently interested in getting back in the head coach's seat.
-David Vanterpool: More of a Cinderella story than a realistically good choice but hey, I'm a basketball romantic (and I wanted to mark down three HC options ha). I'd be lying if I said picking Coach Vant wasn't partially inspired by the success of JB Bickerstaff in Cleveland - an assistant turned successful HC. A long-time assistant coach in Portland, well-liked by players and fans, he put his name in for the top job a few seasons ago that didn't gain traction at the time. He has a good relationship with Dame, they’ve remained friends since Vant’s time on our coaching staff and he is a regular coach in his Formula Zero camp. Hard to say if he's quite ready to be a head coach yet but he's had a few seasons away from Portland gaining experience assisting in Minnesota and now in Brooklyn, we might be catching him at the right time for a homecoming. Trades
: Our roster as it is constructed right now does not work, let's run through how we could re-tool using assets and our two FRPs. In these scenarios I'm operating under the assumption that we have our draft pick at around #6-10 and the Knicks pick at #21-24ish to work with. Maybe I’m overvaluing draft picks but I’m putting them to work in these trades.
-Ant: Look, I love Ant. You love Ant. Ant and Dame on the court together is a disaster on defense. Trade Proposal: Ant + first round pick swap with Toronto for OG Anunoby (we'll have to take on an additional Raptor salary to make the money work so let's say they throw in Thad Young which I don't think Toronto would have an issue with). Why Toronto says yes: this hinges on the very real chance that FVV leaves this summer in free agency. Ant is an up and coming PG that fits the age-range of playing with Scottie Barnes and they move higher in the lottery to bring in another young building block player. Why it works for us: OG is a big SG/SF that solves our starting backcourt defense problem while still putting up around 17ppg on solid shooting percentages, love it. He’s not the ball-handler or scorer that Ant is but I think bringing him in does make our starting five a lot better overall. We also get back Toronto's first round pick around the 12-14 range that we can turn around and flip.
-Nurk: This one hurts, I've been a big Nurk fan since he's been a Blazer but in all honesty we probably should have tried moving him two or three seasons ago. Given his age, health and contract, trading him will be hard. Trade Proposal: Nurk+Keon+FRP to Atlanta for Clint Capela. If I'm in the front office I'm picking up the phone and calling the Hawks ASAP about their bigs. A lot of the NBA has been waiting for Atlanta to go in on bringing Okongwu out as their starting center and with a new head coach it might be that time. I suspect that Capela or Okongwu might be available for acquisition this offseason. While I think I would rather have Onyeka, I think Atlanta will want to keep him more than Capela. Capela also makes more sense money-wise and is no joke at the five-spot; a walking double-double and consistently a top-5/top-10 center in the league. Nurk + the NYK first and Keon to make the salaries work for Capela is very good value for us imo. Why it works for Atlanta: Nurk is definitely not washed but he can't be counted on to be healthy enough to consistently start. He is still an excellent rim protector and pick 'n roll partner when available, and can be a veteran presence with Okongwu to continue bringing his development along. The real value I think Atlanta will like is that first round pick.
-Small Forward: If we do the two above trades then there is a third first round pick (the Toronto pick swap) that we can use. I played around with trading various combinations of Nas, Cam, Justise, and even Knox to try to bolster our position at wing. Trade Proposal: sign-and-trade Justise + Cam + 2023 and 2024 first round pick to Chicago for DeMar DeRozan. Hear me out, I can already see the comments complaining about DeMar’s defense. With the hypothetical Ant trade we need another scorer alongside Dame and DeMar has built an impressive career out of getting the ball in the hoop as well as anyone in the league; he has a decent three-point percentage and isn’t lockdown but is a better defender than people give him credit for. I know someone will likely bring up Matisse starting at wing for us and while I’ve been pleasantly surprised with some nice shooting percentages from him so far, the amount of scoring isn’t where I would like it and I don’t see him as an option as a starter for us; love him and Shaedon as our primary bench players though. This trade is probably the flimsiest of the ones I came up with, those two FRPs are doing all of the heavy lifting to get Chicago on board. I think Chicago says yes because the Lavine + DeRozan combo hasn’t worked out, unfortunately due primarily to Lonzo’s injury struggles. DeMar is getting older and this is probably the last time in his career that a team could expect to get a haul like two firsts for him. If the Bulls are looking to get off of DeMar’s contract and move forward with the youth movement of Ayo, Coby, and Williams then getting our picks could help get them on their way. Cam has shown himself to be a perfectly respectable role player in his short time in Portland and Justise may have health issues but is a solid ball handler at forward and an excellent glue guy. Free Agency
: First and foremost our top priority is re-signing Grant. If we manage that then we have a starting five of Dame, OG, DeMar, Jerami, and Capela. I really like that starting five but recognize it has a few problems: it’s expensive as hell, and is one or two injuries away from completely falling apart. This is us mortgaging the future against trying to make a run right now which is what I think we should be doing. We still have some decent bench pieces with Shaedon and Matisse, and we’re running back with Nas, Drew and Trendon. I’m not the biggest Nas believer but he has a great contract and couldn’t think of a really good way of moving him via trade so we’re riding with him here. We need to address back-up PG and the 4/5 spot. It’s not a super exciting free-agency group this summer but the two names I have circled here are Dennis Schroder playing behind Dame and going after Naz Reid as our bench big man. Other guys that might be worth taking a shot at this summer would be G Aaron Holiday, G Gabe Vincent, C Alex Len, or PF/C Udoka Azubuike.
So to recap - in the process of nearly bankrupting the franchise I’ve got us coached by Frank Vogel. We’re running out a starting five of Damian Lillard, OG Anunoby, DeMar DeRozan, Jerami Grant, and Clint Capela. We’ve got a bench unit of Dennis Schroder, Shaedon Sharpe, Matisse Thybulle, Nas/Trendon, and Drew/Naz Reid. Personally I think this puts us in championship contention for at least the next two seasons and potentially locked up in big money and in the basement for some time after that. Worth it.
If anybody wants to mess around with this stuff for yourself I mostly used fanspo’s trade machine
and spotrac to track salary caps and free agents
EDIT: Thanks for the feedback everybody! You all were a lot nicer than I was expecting lol
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2023.03.22 19:38 Twiggy2000 Kawhi Leonard Traded to Knicks
2023.03.22 03:34 This_Ninja9680 NBA trades 1 through 10?
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2023.03.20 22:30 rtels2023 Who says no?
2023.03.20 18:48 emurrell17 Fitt and Reich Presser Takeaways and Interesting Nuggets
I want to start by prefacing that these aren’t exact quotes, but they should be close. I just wasn’t going to sit there and rewind 5 times to get the exact wording right for all of these. Feel free to correct me if you notice an error and I’m happy to edit.
But regardless, here are some of the more interesting and potentially under the radar bits from the pressers today that I thought might warrant some further discussion/digging on our end:
“I just talked to Brian Burns agent, not so much about him”
Among others, Burns’ agent also represents Nick Bosa, Myles Jack, and Taylor Gabriel. Here’s the full list
What does the Vonn Bell signing mean for Jeremy Chinn?
“They’re going to move Jeremy around in this defense. The way the league is nowadays, you’re in nickel 75-80% of the time. Jeremy will probably play some big nickel for us, and maybe dime LB. But they’re going to move him around.”
On QB size requirements:
“Frank hasn’t said anything explicit like that to me. He hasn’t said “I need him to be this tall, and have this big of hands. It’s just a question of who plays the position the best, who can manage the game at the line, who can be accurate.”
On the length of Thielen’s deal:
“The 3 years was actually something that was important to Adam. He wants to be here as we’re building and be here through that. He’s exactly what we need.”
David Newton: “How many of these QBs are you comfortable with taking at 1?”
Reich: “Hahaha….Like, really?”
On being pigeonholed as someone who only like large QBs:
“I just want to point out that I had a really high grade on Russell Wilson laughs
but don’t read into that”
On Shaq Thompson being willing to take a pay cut:
“Just shows his leadership. The first time I spoke with Shaq he made it clear how much he wanted to find a way to stay here. I really respect his leadership and look forward to growing that relationship with him as a leader of this team.”
On what the Panthers FA moves mean:
“I was talking to Scott and Mr. Tepper about this the other day. Our moves, I think signal to the our fans, and to the league, that we mean business.”
“A versatile 3 down back. It’s important to us to have someone in that 1 spot who can be on the field for all 3 downs. He’s someone that is good in every scheme, he’s decisive, he’s explosive through the hole.”
On Thielen’s age:
“Thielen is such a technician. He showed that he can still run by you last year, but I’m not as worried about his age. If he was a straight line burner, then being 32 would be a bigger deal. But I think that, even if he loses a step he will be a valuable piece for us.”
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2023.03.19 01:30 Zealousideal-Win5054 Check out this trade scenario I made on #Fanspo @trailblazers get: Dorian Finney-Smith Alex Caruso Mikal Bridges Nic Claxton @BrooklynNets get: Jusuf Nurkic Anfernee Simons Shaedon Sharpe 2023 - RD 1 from Trail Blazers @chicagobulls get: Matisse Thybulle 2024 - RD 1 from Trail Blazers
2023.03.11 22:02 GRINSPLITT Raptors/Heat Trade Idea.
2023.03.09 03:00 NoMoreVermicelli I saw Fanspo’s 2023 mock draft had us drafting Scoot #2 and trading for #3 to take Amen. Does this mean we’re gonna be trading one of our young guards?
2023.03.04 06:43 JaguarDBinks Rate my 1st round mock. Anything I should change?
I've been doing a ton of mocks I think I have gotten a lot of better at them. Learning more about team needs, learning more about the prospects, and now I think I have it somewhat figured out. s/general - 1st Round Mock. Hopefully my last one until the official lottery. Fanspo
Trying to predict the choices that teams would make. Thunder need a good backup PG. Anthony Black is perfect for them. Especially on days when SGA or Giddey is out.
Whitmore hasn't been doing well so Magic take Hendricks over him. Good backup for Paolo especially after they just lost Isaac again.
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2023.02.22 17:06 ChfletcherECFS Det/Cha off-season deal
2023.02.21 22:50 Hermit-mountain-- Net’s get right back to being competitive
2023.02.11 02:17 gochugang78 BKN send all their picks from Dallas, Philly, Phoenix to HOU for their own picks back. Who says no?
2023.02.10 07:14 showmeurmeemz [please help] what does the picks package need to be for this to be palatable?
2023.02.09 16:31 PabloPancakes92 What’s the cost for a Jae Crowder on the open market these days?
2023.02.09 16:29 SenorTowelie22 Raptors Rebuild, Suns
2023.02.09 11:34 Pasta_Ssempa_ Would the Nets do this? Do they do it if we add a second?
2023.02.09 08:52 Fragrant_Contest_572 The west has exploded, it’s time for Dame to move on
2023.02.08 22:58 ireallydespiseyouall thoughts? can be Jrich instead of doug
2023.02.07 15:44 SportsFinanceBoi Mavs try to fix defense, Lakers try to fix shooting.
2023.02.07 14:58 dirtyfreakindangles Nets Blow it Up
2023.02.07 13:42 Objective_Topic_9705 Bulls->Championship
2023.02.07 05:55 yL4O Like the cicada, the Great Trade Machine Jerker does not have a long lifespan. But, for a few precious weeks in the doldrums of winter, he posts horrible trade after horrible trade on his team’s subreddit, always captioned “Thoughts?”. We must honor him while he is still with us.