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Hello Diener, Bye Bye Bayless?

With the Blazers on the cusp of adding Travis Diener to the roster for the rest of the season, it is hard to see this move having any real impact on the team barring another injury (which we all know is very possible). However, with Jerryd Bayless seeing significantly less playing time and his retractable leash being shortened as we speak, the signing of Diener could result in much more than first glance would indicate.

Now lets be realistic about this. Jerryd Bayless is the backup point guard and probably will continue to be the backup point guard. Travis Diener was signed as an insurance policy should (knock on wood) Andre Miller or Bayless go down with an injury. We all know Nate McMillan prefers veterans and the thought of Patty Mills playing significant minutes in a playoff push would give him nightmares. Let's just say for one minute though, that Jerryd Bayless continues to be reeled in by Coach McMillan. At what point does he look down the bench and see Diener, a 5-year veteran who takes decent care of the basketball and has been a pretty good 3-pt shooter, all things that Coach McMillan loves? That moment would mean the end for Jerryd Bayless as a Portland Trail Blazer.

If you feel the way I do about this season, whatever the Blazers give us from here on out is a free roll. It would be undoubtedly dissappointing for the team to miss the playoffs but fairly predictable should they be unable to get out of the first round. In a way, management may have needed a season like this to evaluate the pieces on this team and figure out who they want to be a part of it for the long haul. Nicolas Batum has played his way in. Dante Cunningham and Jeff Pendegraph have made strong cases to stay while Martell Webster and Rudy Fernandez are slowly building cases to leave. Now it is Jerryd Bayless' turn. It was too easy for Coach McMillan to bench Jerryd Bayless when he had a proven PG in Steve Blake taking his spot. Now that Blake is gone, if Coach McMillan begins to bench Bayless in favor of a journeyman PG in Diener, it would be hard not to see the writing on the wall. That would be a shame considering the flashes of brilliance the 21 year old Bayless has shown and it would be hard not to think of someone like Jermaine O'Neal who was shipped out of town all too soon. Welcome to Portland Travis Diener, I hope you never play.

Brandon Jones


  1. When anyone starts using the term "Brilliant" to describe Mr. Bayless, I can't help but believe that there is a lot of "HOPE" built into that description. I personally don't believe that any part of Bayless's play deserves the description "brilliant". Hustler,"Yes", Potential, "Yes", Desire, "Yes", Out of Control, "Yes" (too often).

    Brilliant, "NO".

  2. I never described him as brilliant, I agree that he is far from it. However, he is a 21 year old point guard, a posistion that has a steep learning curve in this league. Some examples of "flashes of brilliance" that I mentioned: 30+ on the Spurs when Brandon Roy sat out, late game heroics against the Suns on TNT, 20+ and late game heroics in New Jersey last year, etc. "Flashes of brilliance" is a term that could be synonomous with "lots of potential" and that is all I have ever said Jerryd has. I for one would like to give him a chance to reach his potential before we ship him out of town...unless the right move comes along haha