Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blazers PG Problem?

In case you guys haven’t seen it yet, there was a fairly modest trade today in the NBA. It was a three team trade that involved the Wizards, Grizzles, and Hornets.

Wizards Get: Javaris Crittenton & Mike James

Wizards Give: Antonio Daniels & Conditional 1st round Pick

Memphis Get: Conditional 1st Round Pick

Memphis Gives: Javaris Crittenton & Conditional 2nd Round Pick

Hornets Get: Antonio Daniels

Hornets Give: Mike James

Anyways, in a clear move to obtain a backup for the oft-injured Gilbert Arenas (Trust me I know, he was my 1st pick in fantasy hoops last year) the Wizards obtain a young, long PG with plenty of potential left in Crittenton. Now there has been much talk about the Blazers acquiring a “long-term” point guard. But I am not so sure that we do not already have one on our roster.

First let’s try to define what an ideal PG on this team would do for us. We need someone who can:

  1. Hit open shots (3’s especially) to stretch the defense, opening it up for Roy, Aldridge, Pryz*, and eventually Oden.
  2. Keep turnovers low.
  3. Be able to play solid D, with an emphasis on stopping dribble penetration from the opposing PG.
  4. Be able to defer to Roy, and still be an effective weapon/threat on the court offensively.
  5. Create open looks for our plethora of jump shooters.
  6. Fit our team first attitude.

Now you can obviously go forever on this, but I think these are the main things that the Blazers core requires from their PG. Those lead me to:

Steve Blake. He has played outstanding this year and molded his game to one that compliments the rest of our team extremely well. Granted he isn’t the best defender, and isn’t flashy or fun, but bottom line is the guy gets the job done. Blake has hit 45 three’s year, leaving him 4th among all PG’s in the NBA. In first is Mike Bibby with 51, then Jamal Crawford (more of a SG then a PG), and the Spurs Roger Mason.

Blake also boasts one of the best assists to turnover ratios in the league at 3.03/1. That is good for 14th in the league, and 11th when removing players who don’t less then 25 minutes a game. Also Blake undoubtedly has the team first attitude and is willing to step back and let Brandy Roy take the reigns.

What might be one of the most important aspects about what Blake brings to the table from an NBA roster management perspective, is the fact that we are only paying him 4.5 Mil a year. This is peanuts for what Blake brings to the table.

So for those of you demanding change, who do you suggest? Here are a few plausible players that I think could possibly work and why they would be good fits or bad fits.

Allen Iverson: As most of you know, I was hyping up Iverson for a while there. After seeing how poorly he has been able to fit into a more team oriented system in Detroit, I am going to go ahead and retract that comment. Iverson is a free agent at the end of the year, but at his age he is going to want years rather then money on his contract, and I think that is the last thing the Blazers want to give the 33 year scoring PG.

Mike Bibby: Bibby is also a free agent after this season. He is a decent option, when you consider what he would most likely command between 8-12 mil a year. He can hit the 3 ball, and has a knack for hitting big shots (as I am sure some you can remember from his days in SacTown). But is he really 3-8 mil better then Blake? Bibby is 30 this year, and I am not sure how many more miles he has left. I know Atlanta is really liking him right now, so if they get into a bidding war for his services, I think KP would be smart enough to bow out.

Jason Kidd: Kidd is a free agent after this season, and at the tender age of 35 you are truly starting to see his age. What would be the biggest problem with Kidd would be his defense. Would you really want to see him try to guard Chris Paul or Deron Williams in a 7 game series? He would get torched and wipe out any positives that he brings on the offensive side of things. He is a great leader with even better court vision, but I just don’t see it working out with us. An outside shot would be if the Blazers brass brought him in as more of a player/coach type role for a 1-2 year contract to help along our young guys. Not sure if that makes sense, but at the right price it would be worth it.

Raymond Felton: Felton is not a free agent, but has been rumored to be on the trading block every since the Bobcats drafted DJ Augstine. This is Felton’s 4th year in the league and at the age of 24 still has room for improvement. His salary (roughly 4 mil) matches up nicely with some of our young pieces in a trade. However, Felton’s downfall is his shooting. This season he is averaging 40% from the field and a lowly 29.5% from the 3pt line. That pretty much eliminates him.

Kirk Hinrich: Hinrich just signed a large deal two years ago, then had the worst year of career following it. He is obviously on the trade block with the Bulls drafting Rose, and the likely hood of him being traded has increased even more with the surprising performance of Rose. Hinrich has 3 years and 26.5 mil left on his contract (after this season). That’s not exactly the most attractive contract for him especially with his decline in stats, BUT what does make it somewhat better is the fact that the contract was frontloaded, so Hinrich’s salary decreases every year, leaving him to be paid 8 Mil a year in his last year. Hinrich can definitely hit the 3, and provides us with a solid defender. Anyone who has watched him knows that he is a relatively pass first PG along the lines of Blake. Guys who share the rock tend to also be fairly good locker room guys. I personally feel that if we are going to “upgrade” the PG position, Hinrich is the logical pick. Now that doesn’t mean I think we should, but if the price is right, I would not be opposed to bringing Hinrich on board.

Let me know what you guys think, if I forgot anyone let me know and I’ll give you my longwinded explanation as to why or why not they should be considered to become part of our team. Have a good day and keep checking out my blog! I am going to attempt to make at least a small post everyday on my lunch, so check back at about 1 PM during the weekdays for updates! Thank fellas!


  1. I deffinitely like the argument that Blake gets us a lot of "Bang for our buck" when you look at his contract. I was the first one to shoot down your idea of bringing in AI and I about fainted when you claimed that AI doesn't dominate the basketball, but that is another battle for another day. Bottom line I agree with the conclusion you have come to now about how valuable blake is. It would be fun to dream up bringing in Bibby or someone flashy but if your number one goal is to win basketball games I strongly believe in the value of role players who can hit a big three at the end of the game even if they haven't shot the ball more than five times in the game so far. Many players become less effective when they arent "in the flow of the game" but I love blakes ability to hit big shots no matter his role on the team.

  2. Good blog buddy! (man, I've been waiting a while to say that to someone...somehow I always new it would be you) It makes for some good reading while sitting in a boring hotel room in Brazil...much better than staring blankly at papers in all Portuguese. I'm in to the idea of you posting every day, I think it will make for some good conversation - or "told you so's" in Goose's case. Thanks for the update and hopefully tomorrow's game against Utah will be a better ending than last night!

  3. I am adding this to my favorites right now.

  4. I think for the money - and currently the production - I like Blake better than any of the other guys listed up there...

  5. Fox, thanks for the shoutout! And big Miayaat, thanks for adding it to your favs!

    Next off day, I am going to go over some more point guard options. Until then thanks for the comments!

  6. Good blog kyle, i agree with what you said about blake, but i think bibby is someone we should take a serious look at in the off season.