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He Did It Again!

Two nights ago the Portland Trail Blazers completed a deal that would send forward Travis Outlaw and point guard Steve Blake to the Clippers for center Marcus Camby. Several million Blazers fans, including yours truly, erupted with glee. Kevin Pritchard had done it again. While Ridding his team of two expiring contracts, he picked up another one. Meaning next year, neither Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw, nor Marcus Camby will be under the Blazers payroll. This leaves additional cap space to go after a big name, free agent, hopefully Chris Bosh.

One could argue that each position is locked up for the next ten years, thanks to the youth of the underage roster. However, there's always room for improvement, and a big name free agent would bring that extra oomph the Blazers need for a playoff push. Pritchard mentioned earlier this month, and in my last article, that “the Blazers weren't ready to make that push for a championship, and when they were ready, it would be apparent.” Well, it seems like this summer will be the time for Rip City to once again become a serious contender—that is outside the minds of Portlanders, who think they are already at the championship level.

Losing Travis Outlaw is the best part of the trade. Sure he has many starts under his belt, but Nicholas Batum, Martell Webster, and Dante Cunningham are much better all around players than Outlaw will ever be. Steve Blake, however, will be sorely missed. Blake, 30, is four years younger than current starter Andre Miller, 34. This leaves issues at the point guard position, because Miller will be on the team a maximum of another two years. Jerryd Bayless has performed well this year, exceeding Pritchard's expectations. However, everyone here in the Rose City is a homer and expects the Blazers to make the playoffs and win in the playoffs every year, and Bayless isn't at the level to lead us there

Sure, every team's goal is the NBA Championship, that's why they play the game. But realistically, some teams have to sacrifice this year's goal for long term goals. When Jerryd Bayless and Patty Mills are more experienced and can run this team like we all hope they can, then that championship goal will become much more likely.

While Pritchard's main focus is freeing up cap space for a long term solution, Mr. Genius managed to fix the short term problems as well. The addition of Marcus Camby enhances the team's front line right away. Camby has averaged 7.7 ppg along with 12 rpg in 52 games this year. At age 35, he will likely only play for the rest of the year, but can still help the Blazers in the long run. His veteran leadership in the locker room will be key come playoff time and improve the mental game in our young lineup . With Roy back and Camby in, it's going to be an exciting next few months for Blazers fans.

Up next for the Blazers is a Friday Night home game vs. the Boston Celtics. The Celtics won the earlier meeting 98-95 in OT in Boston. However, the Blazers didn't have Brandon Roy or Marcus Camby for that game. The Blazers look to continue their undefeated streak since losing Outlaw and Blake, after blowing out the Clippers 109-87 Tuesday.

~Jacob Rogers~

02.17.10

2 comments:

  1. although this trade was undoubtedly a good move for the blazers, i think you are off on some of your reasons why the blazers made it. because the team signed brandon and lamarcus to long term deals and those extensions will kick in this offseason, the blazers will have no cap room, even with camby's salary coming off of the books. This move was made to bolster the front court for the playoff run and to keep camby away from other teams like the nuggets and thunder that were seeking front court help. I wish the blazers could go after bosh but this simply isnt a reality.

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  2. If the Blazers can get Chris Bosh, and that is a very big if right now, there is a team getting a huge boost with a young crew and an experienced star!

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