PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS: This is how the fuck you rebuild! Takes notes Mitch Kupchak. In the one year span between last year's draft and this year's the Blazers have turned a booty, bottom feeding roster into THE team of tomorrow. A little while back I said I feared Portland might become, but now with it here in my face, I'm kinda in love. (This is very important considering my possible fan free agency, depending on how the Lakers handle the Kobe situation).
Oden and Aldridge are gonna be the shit. Both of them are tremendous rebounders with natural shot blocking tendencies. And they're athletic! Those guys are gonna make the rim disappear for opposing offenses. Then you bring in Channing Frye? Brilliant Move. Another Mobile big guy who you can bring off the bench to spell either one of the towers. Thing about Frye is that his game is different enough to make a difference. He's more of a face up guy, with tremendous range and solid post moves, while still being above average on the boards and defensively. The so called experts are saying it's just duplication of skills and that you can't give all three minutes. Bullshit. Aldridge and Oden can avg 30-35 mins/game with Frye still getting 30 off the bench. Meaning whichever two you run in crunch time will be fresher than guys playing 40+ minutes. This also means you have virtually no drop off in case of foul trouble. It's like the big man equivalent of the Isiah-Dumars-Microwave rotation that won the Pistons a couple of rings. Let me stop now before this turns into a Blazer post. Oh and you can bet your ass Francis is either gonna get moved or bought out, he has no role in this youth movement. Neeext.
BOSTON CELTICS: Danny Ainge has been getting bashed (more than usual) over the Ray Allen. Personally, I think it was a good move. If you're gonna keep Pierce, which obviously they plan to, then you have to bring in someone on a similar time line as him. Bringing in more youth wasn't going to help. So they traded basically 3 role players for the best shooter in the L! What's there not to like here? Their starting five's gonna be Rondo, Ray, Pierce, AlJeff, and basically any warm body that can grab a board. With Ryan Gomes and Gerald Green coming off the bench. That's a playoff team in the East. Hell, with a little heath that could be an Atlantic Division crown. Plus you finally have somebody to properly groom Gerald Green on what it means to be a deadly shooter in the NBA (Szcerbiak just wasn't getting the job done). The big knock by all the media types is that the C's are leaning on two aging stars. But then again these are the same guys who are slobbing NJ.
NEW YORK KNICKS: I honestly don't even know who they drafted. But I trust Isaiah. If nothing else he makes tremendous draft decisions. But the biggest move for the Knicks was trading away brokedown Stevie Franchise for Zach Randolph. Their bad contracts balance out, but Francis is a has been and Randolph is a legit 20-10 guy. Zach is motivated version of Eddy Curry, so there will be some issues with having both guys on the court at the same time, but above all else this deal accomplishes two things the Knicks needed. 1)Brings in a hardcore rebounder with offensive game, nobody else on the Knicks roster fits that bill. It's kinda like If Curry and David Lee had a baby. 2)Kept Zach away from other Eastern Conference teams. It's addition by addition mixed with addition by subtraction! Plus I'd pay good money to see Zach and Curry battling for post game meals.
SEATTLE SONICS: They got Kevin Durant. That's all that counts. That kid is gonna be MAJOR. It looks like they're already trying to shape the roster around him, except it's weird. They have a shitload of 1's, 3's, and 5's. At least four guys at each spot. Something's gotta give. I see big changes going on with them in the next few months. Regardless though, they got Durant. That's really all that matters.
ATLANTA HAWKS: They addressed their two major needs, post offense in Al Horford, and a floor leader in Acie Law. Now if then can manage to switch out Childress and/or Shelden Williams for a shooter then they've got something going on. They're still not gonna make the playoffs, but at least they can talk about it in the future now.
A couple other Items:
- The J-Rich trade was a beauty on both sides. Charlotte has never had a go to option like this before. G.Wallace picked up a lot of junk points, he wasn't a true go to guy. J-rich is gonna improve that team. Brendan Wright is gonna love Golden State where all he'll have to do is run and jump. Well, assuming he doesn't get traded for Yi.
- I love the Clippers picks. They're back in the playoffs next years. Thornton fits perfectly coming in behind Maggette. And Jared Jordan is good floor leader, he'll surprise some folks.
- The Bulls are dumb. What does Joakim Noah bring that Ben Wallace and Tyrus Thomas don't already do? Plus they're gonna have to give minutes to Michael Sweetney or whatever big man they use as a post presence. So Noah's seeing heavy bench basically til Ben's contract ends. Why not flip that pick for somebody with a post game?
- I'm sorry Rodney Stuckey went to Detroit. He's got a ton of talent that they're gonna waste.
- I'm not gonna talk about the Lakers. Free agency starts July 1. That's when teams can do sign&trades, and all the real player movement picks up. We'll see what happens then.