Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Trade Talk; Memphis Preview

Breaking News: There has been a 3-team trade involving the Blazers, Bulls, and Kings. The Blazers are trading Ike Diogu to the Kings and getting Michael Ruffin from the Bulls. The Bulls are trading Drew Gooden, Andres Nocioni, and Cedric Simmons to the Kings for John Salmons and Brad Miller. Check out the trade here.

This essentially is a cost cutting trade by the Blazers, and why not. Diogu doesn't even play and this trade will save us $2 mil in salary not to mention lower our overall payroll. And since we are over the luxury tax by about $8 mil, this will reduce the amount of tax we will have to pay the league at the end of the year by $2. So this basically saves Paul Allen $4 million dollars. Also, this generates a trade exception for us which we can use before tomorrows trade deadline. Basically that says in another trade we can take back about $3 mil in salary that we don't trade away (the difference between Diogu and Ruffin's salary). Here is the official press release from Trail

PORTLAND, Ore. – As part of a three-way trade with Sacramento and Chicago, the Portland Trail Blazers have acquired forward Michael Ruffin from Chicago in exchange for forward Ike Diogu, who is sent to Sacramento, General Manager Kevin Pritchard announced today.

Trail Blazers also gain a $3 million trade exception, which they can use for one calendar year.

“We want to thank Ike for his time with the Trail Blazers, and hopefully this trade will give him an opportunity to play more minutes in Sacramento,” said Pritchard. “This move will give us trade flexibility going forward with the $3 million trade exception we gained in the deal.”

An eight-year veteran, Ruffin, 32, averaged 1.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 403 career games with Chicago, Philadelphia, Utah, Washington and Milwaukee. He has not appeared in a game for Chicago this season.

Diogu, 25, played in 19 games for Portland this season, averaging 1.4 points and 0.9 rebounds in 3.8 minutes per game. He was acquired by the Trail Blazers from the Indiana Pacers along with the draft rights to Jerryd Bayless on July 9, 2008. Diogu has posted averages of 5.9 points and 3.0 rebounds in 177 games during his four-year NBA career.

First off, I want to say thanks for everyone that took the time to listen to our first podcast, which was posted last night. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to listen to it, don’t worry you can go back and access by clicking on “First Podcast!” in the previous posts section.

Goose and I would truly appreciate any feedback on the podcast. What did you like, what didn’t you like? We will try to improve on any discrepancies on the next one. If you don’t want to leave a comment on the blog, feel free to email me at and I will get back to you!

Oh and in unrelated news, in attempt to be as cool as me, Buhler started a blog, check it out when you get some time.

Trade Update

Well there hasn’t been anything revolutionary happen yet today. According to one source, Kirk Hinrich is the most likely Bull on the move, but it doesn’t involve Portland. Interesting.

Another nugget that was just broke on Blazers Edge is the fact that the Sacramento Kings Bobby Brown, and John Salmons will not be playing in tonight’s game versus the Hawks. Could this mean a trade has been submitted to the league? I will keep you posted on this as more information becomes available.

ESPN’s JA Adande says that although the New Jersey Nets are downplaying the fact that they are shopping Vince Carter, he is still very much in play.

Quite simply, the Nets "want off Vince," one general manager said said.

Carter is due $16.3 million next season and $17.3 million in 2010-11 (likely taking any team with him on the roster out of play for the 2010 free-agent derby).

But don't be surprised if Carter, a 10-time All-Star, doesn't bring back All-Star talent in return -- especially if a trade with Portland for Raef LaFrentz's expiring contract and Travis Outlaw goes down.

"It comes down to New Jersey giving Vince away," another GM said. "They're hemorrhaging money."

Although Devin Harris has surpassed Carter as the team's best player, Carter is still the biggest name, so at first glance trading him wouldn't make sense in a star-driven business. But as the general manager said, "They're not selling tickets anyway," and Carter isn't enough of a box office draw to cover his $15 million salary this season.

With a mediocre team playing in a lame-duck, 27-year-old stadium and ground yet to be broken on a new arena in Brooklyn, the Nets have averaged 14,805 fans per game this season. That ranks 25th on the league's attendance list.

"They're hurting," the second general manager said. "The league's hurting. The world's hurting."

Also according to ESPN’s Chris Brossard, the Bucks badly want to move Richard Jefferson, and most likely will.

As of right now, my feeling is that the Blazer’s will make a big trade involving Reaf’s expiring contract before the trade deadline. I also think it will be someone who we haven’t heard much about, or someone who has already been “ruled out” as a possibility. I think the market is to much in our favor for us not to find something we like. KP is just waiting until the last possible minute to pull the trigger just to make sure something better doesn’t come along.

What are your guy’s predictions?

In non-trade news, check out a great article today about Blazer’s president Larry Miller by the Oregonion’s Jason Quik. Check it out here.

Game Preview

Tonight’s game versus the Memphis Grizzles is one marked by the return of Darius Miles to the Rose Garden. How do you think he will be greeted? I think with boos, but is that justified? I am not going to lie, if I was going to the game I would probably boo him. Anyways, the Grizzles are the cellar dwellers (and yes I rhymed that on purpose) of the NBA. They have only won 15 games so far this season, but are a young team that shows some promise. OJ Mayo (Orange Juice Mayonnaise) has been having a great rookie season and is averaging 19.3 ppg for them. Another rookie, Marc Gasol, leads them in rebounds per game with 7.1. They have a very athletic and versatile swingman in Rudy Gay, and a couple PG’s in Kyle Lowry and Mike Conley rounding out the roster. Memphis only averages about 3 more possessions a game then the Blazers so the pace tonight should favor the Blazers. Memphis also is in the bottom 3rd of rebounding teams, which is another one of Portland’s strengths. If we do what we do well tonight, we should have no problem walking away with a win.

When I look at Memphis, I can’t help but think of how lucky we are to have such a stellar young team. We play 4 rookies significant minutes. Memphis, OKC, and Golden State are the only teams who are even close to as young as Portland, and each one of those teams is among the worst in the NBA. So to say that the Blazer’s are ahead of schedule is an understatement. So let’s all take stock of what these guys are doing out there and sit back and enjoy the ride instead of always criticizing them for not closing out a game, or not showing up against an elite team.

Good news is, the Blazers are expected to have Steve Blake back in the starting lineup for tonight’s game. Blake went through a full practice yesterday with no pain and seemed to be fine. I think after last time they are taking a cautious approach and are not going to bring him back too soon.

Oden however will not be able to go tonight after the swelling in his knee did not subside as much as anticipated. He is still questionable for Friday’s game and will be reevaluated before that game.

Keys to the Game

  1. Make Memphis Shoot Jumpshots
    1. We need to win the points in the paint battle tonight and not let Memphis get to the rim. Make them shoot contested jumpshots and lean on our superior rebounding.
  2. Play Our Game
    1. If we do what we do well, tonight’s game should be a breeze. We need to control the tempo, rebound, and hit open shots.
  3. Focus on the Game Rather Then the Trade Talk
    1. With all the trade talk swirling around, it would be hard to concentrate but that’s exactly what we have to do tonight.

Gambler’s Corner

Portland -11.5

Over/Under 194.5

I am going to take the Blazers and the under. I think Portland will come out refreshed and reenergized coming out of the all-star break. And I am sure Nate has relayed the importance of finishing this season strong, and that starts tonight.


  1. I will take Blazers and the over. I am feeling that there is going to be a lot of scoring like many other games that took place last night.

    Liked the pod cast, for improvements I might do something about that other guy. His voice was kinda creepin me out. haha. No it was cool and fun to listen to! Maybe have phone ins every once in awhile. Try to get some of the Blazers on the phone for their thoughts, etc. Overall I liked the idea and the topics of discussion!

  2. Blazer and Over. I like the idea of phone call in questions type of deal, or maybe have emaile'd topics to discuss and we can be like "and this email is from the shithole of the continental united states aka St. Helens OR, and he wants to know...." something like that...right d? thats what I think about your creepy comment! hahaha