Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hypothetical Trade

Simmons Trade

Yesterday on his podcast, Bill Simmons was throwing out random trade ideas, and one he brought up was bringing Mike Conley to Portland. He proposed this trade (Click to see it in ESPN’s trade machine):

Blazers Give: Jerryd Bayless, Ike Diogu, and the corpse of Reaf LaFrentz (with his amazing expiring contract)

Blazers Get: Mike Conley, Hakim Warrick ($2.2 mil expires this year), Darko Milicic ($7 Mil, expires next year), and Greg Buckner ($4 mil, expires next year).

Now while it is very hard for me as a Blazers fan to accept the idea of parting with Jay Bay Bay, I feel like this might be a good deal for Portland. Here’s why:

1. As anyone who has watched Greg Oden play this year, he doesn’t seem to carry himself like he used to when he was in college. He seems to be taking himself and basketball a little too serious, which is fine if you are Jerryd Bayless, but he is not. Oden is more Dwight Howard and Shaq. A gentle giant with a quick wit and an undeniable charisma. This is one of the reasons why we took Oden over Durant. But now, after missing his entire rookie season, and feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders, Oden has turned into a somber, sulking big man. Even my Mom, who is by no means a basketball analyst noticed it when we were watching a game together. Oden means so much to this team and has limitless potential, so wouldn’t you do everything possible to maximize his potential? I think bringing in Conley is a step in that direction. Yes Conley is a talented player in his own right, but the returns you could reap from Oden are worth giving away Bayless.

2. What else I like about this trade is that it basically way-lays Raef’s expiring contract to next year. And if you think teams are scrambling for expiring contracts this year, just wait until the trade deadline next year. With an amazing free agent class coming to fruition after the 2010 season (LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Joe Johnson, Dirk, and many more) teams are going to be doing all they can to get under the cap to sign these guys. This means talent at a discount, and as many of you have already stated, you are not wild about the talent available to us this year. So why not buy yourself some more time? Granted this move takes us out of the running for any free agents this summer (besides our mid-level exception), but I don’t think there is anyone out there that makes more sense then Conley and cap flexibility next year.

What do you guys think? Do you agree with me?


  1. Yeah...I agree. I think that getting rid of Bayless is tough though. Also, I just saw something about getting Wallace from the Bobcats. What are your thoughts on that? I think he would be a huge addition to the team. Plus he can give Oden a lil beef and maybe fire him up for getting dunked on so hard during the last game.

    Plus I want to know what is so amazing about Rafs contract and why people want it?

  2. Basically the idea behind trading Raef (or any expiring contract for that matter) is to give a team financial flexibility for a player of better talent. In Reaf's case, there is a huge push to trade him before the deadline because if we don't then we won't realize the full value of his expiring contract ($12.8 mil). If we just let the contract expire, it comes off of our books, and right now as we are slated, we will be an estimated 7-8 mil under the salary cap (the salary cap number is based off revenues and ticket sales throughout the league, so it is expected to go down for the first time since there has been a salary cap in the NBA). And that 7-8 mil in space is based on the assumption that we rennounce our rights (basically let them walk for nothing) to Frye and Diogu, and pick up the team options on Blake ($4 mil) and Outlaw ($3.7).

  3. the above was copied in an email from Kyle earlier today...shout out Kyle.