Posts Tagged ‘Joel Przybilla’

Blazers should become relevant, again … if Przybilla is 100% healthy

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The current standings in the Western Conference look like this, with Portland in the No. 8 position.

However …

===================================

Joel Przybilla signing with Trail Blazers

… chose the Blazers over the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat and will be signed through the remainder of the season. He played with the Blazers from 2004-11 before he was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats midway through last season. He played only five games for the Bobcats before re-injuring his right knee.

===================================

the addition of a highly serviceable 7-1, 260 center with outstanding character – in particular mental, emotional and physical “toughness” – to the pieces the Blazers already have on their roster:

STARTERS

PG/Raymond Felton + OG-SF/Nicolas Batum + SF-PF/Gerald Wallace + PF/LaMarcus Aldridge + C/Marcus Camby

KEY SUBS

PG-OG/Jamal Crawford + OG-SF/Wes Matthews + PF/Kurt Thomas + C/Joel Przybilla

—————————————————————

RESERVES

PG-OG/Elliot Williams and PF/Craig Smith

EXTRAS/OUTS

PG/Nolan Smith, SF-PF/Luke Babbitt, PF/Chris Johnson and C/Greg Oden

===================================

returns their team to a point of relevance which has been missing since:

i. Greg Oden [C] ruptured his kneecap;

and,

ii. Brandon Roy [G-F] announced his premature retirement from basketball;

and should eventually put them right back into the mix for a Top 4 seed in the playoffs this year.

Related:

Przybilla follows heart back to Portland

Addition of Przybilla would secure NBA Championship for Miami Heat

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

As of today, the odds to win this year’s NBA Championship look like this.

However …

If there is one player who is currently on the open market that Pat Riley SHOULD try to add to his existing squad, in order to ensure that his team has the best opportunity possible to win this year’s NBA Championship, it is none other than …

=========================

Miami Heat extend contract offers to Kenyon Martin, Joel Przybilla

The Heat have offered contracts to both Joel Przybilla and Kenyon Martin, their agents told ESPN.com. Przybilla is expected to make a choice between the Chicago Bulls and Heat, according to agent Bill Duffy. Martin is interested in several teams, with the Heat in the mix, according to agent Andy Miller.

The Sporting News reported Wednesday that Przybilla is planning to make a choice by the end of the week.

Heat president Pat Riley has been recruiting both players as the Heat look to add depth to their frontcourt. According to multiple league executives, the belief is that the 7-foot-1 Przybilla is healthy and believes he can contribute to a contender in a limited role off the bench.

Przybilla played in 36 games for the Portland Trail Blazers and Charlotte Bobcats last season, averaging 1.8 points and 4.0 rebounds.

=========================

Joel Przybilla [C, 7-1, 259].

It says here and now that … if Mr. Przybilla is indeed 100% healthy, once again, and in position to play regular minutes, as a highly effective role player, either, as a “starter” or a “key sub” coming off the bench, then … the Miami Heat will win the NBA Championship this season, and the mere possibility of still getting them at odds of 5-2 is, in fact, a huge value investment.

Properly evaluating Rich Cho’s personnel moves, as GM for the Blazers

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Here is the “stats-based” take, from David Berri and Andres Alvarez:

DateAddedSubtractedCommentary
Jul 21Wes Matthews, OG/SF [signed as UFA]$6 million per seasonYoung and has been slightly below average first two seasons. Worth this minimal money, however. Not a steal but a good value player this year who has turned out to be above average.
Oct 23Future 1st Round Draft Pick [from NOR]Jerryd Bayless, PG [former 1st Round Draft Pick]Bayless is a former first-rounder for the Blazers who has not been a productive NBA player. Re-rolled the dice by exchanging for anothr future draft pick.
Oct 25Fabricio Oberto, PF/C [signed as UFA] Less-than $1 million per seasonNot a great move, but not as though FA cheap bigs grow on trees.
Nov 6Sean Marks, PF/C [signed as UFA]Less-than $1 million per seasonNot a great move but at least he was cheap.
Jan 24Chris Johnson, PF [signed as UFA]10-day contractTemporary contract is not exactly a "back-breaker. Young and unknown.
Feb 24Gerald Wallace, SF/PF [via trade with Charlotte]Joel Przybilla, C; Dante Cunningham, PF; Sean Marks, PF/C; cash; 2011 1st Round Draft Pick; 2013 1st Round Draft PickTraded some "garbage" and injured an injured player and some picks [that will likely never be as good as G-Wallace] for a very "productive" forward. A+
Mar 1Jarron Collins, C [signed as UFA]Two 10-day contractsNot a great move but pretty much just needed a "warm body". Again, not a back-breaker.
Mar 14Chris Johnson, PF [signed as UFA]Low cost contract for rest of this seasonHasn't been playing hot but is a low cost/risk player.
SUMMARY
* Grabbed a bordline star for some picks
* Flipped a failed draft pick into another future pick
* Signed a slightly below average player for cost
* Used some 10-day contracts to put warm bodies on the court

In short, from a personnel handling decision-making standpoint, he did exactly what he was supposed to do.

Here is the “on-court basketball effects” take, from yours truly:

"Stats-based" Summary"On-court basketball effects" Summary
Grabbed a bordline star for some picksG-Wallace is often injured and already past his "best-before" date. Nicolas Batum has significantly more upside, going forward, at both the SF and PF positions. Harmed the level of Team Cohesion, overall, by stealing minutes from Batum and increasing the glut at the wing positions. Discarded future 1st Round Draft Picks which have significant value as trading chips. Grade: C
Flipped a failed draft pick into another future pickLeft only Patrick Mills and Armon Johnson to perform in the Back-up PG role. Significant drop-off when compared with J-Bayless. Grade: C
Signed a slightly below avrage player for costAn excellent addition, given the injury-status of Brandon Roy. Grade: A
Used some 10-day contracts to put warm bodies on the courtJar-Collins and C-Johnson cannot play effectively in the NBA. Wasted opportunities to add other serviceable, contributing players to the roster at the Back-up Big Men spots. Grade: D
In short, from a personnel handling standpoint, he did exactly what he was supposed to do.Only success was in keeping the team's overall costs down this year. "Short-sheeted" the roster unnecessarily at, both, the PG and C positions. Although Sean Marks is a poor player, overall, he can still contribute meaningful minutes coming off the bench, as a serviceable Big; as can Dante Cunningham [both, this season and beyond] and, definitely, Joel Przybilla [both, next season and beyond], each of whom is substantially better than Marks. With Greg Oden's injured-status, and only 2 other legimate Bigs on the roster [i.e. LaMarcus Aldridge/PF-C and Marcus Camby/C], this team simply did not have enough size up-front to compete effectively beyond the 1st Round of the NBA Playoffs this year. Overall Grade: C

You are free to decide for yourself which is a more accurate appraisal of what happened to the Blazers’ playoff chances this season.

White and Cunningham ‘step-up’ for Bobcats

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Unlike certain other ”stats gurus” …

———————————–

e.g. LeBron is Wrong about LaMarcus Aldridge

The Blazers have won 37 games this far.  The team’s efficiency differential of 0.97 – and corresponding Wins Produced — is consistent with a team that should have won about 34 games.

When we look at performance in 2009-10, though, we see a team that should have won about 43 games.  In other words, the Blazers should have the best record in the West.  And in terms of efficiency differential, the team’s projected mark of 5.4 would only be topped by the San Antonio Spurs and LA Lakers in the West.  In sum, the Blazers – based on last year’s performance – should be contenders in the West.

When we look at how performance has changed, we can see three players – Brandon Roy, Nicolas Batum, and Dante Cunningham — who are responsible for the Blazers failure to contend.  Roy has been hurt, so it is easy to understand his performance decline. 

As for Batum and Cunningham, the trade for Wallace can help resolve both issues.  Thankfully for the Blazers, Jordan took Cunningham in the trade for Wallace.  So a player who was hurting the team is now playing elsewhere.

———————————–

… yours truly was not among the list of NBA observers who believed that either Portland or Oklahoma City should be characterized as ”hands-down winners” of the two deals which were completed at the NBA Trade Deadline [i.e. Feb 24, 2011], sending:

A. Gerald Wallace [SF-PF] to the Portland Trail Blazers, in exchange for Joel Przybilla [C], Dante Cunningham [PF], Sean Marks [PF] and 2 Future 1st Round Draft Picks;

and,

B. Nazr Mohammed [PF-C] to the Oklahoma City Thunder, in exchange for DJ White [PF] and Morris Peterson [OG-SF].

In the aftermath of these two trades, the Charlotte Bobcats have endured:

Feb

Opponent

Result

W/L Record

Fri 25

 vs Sac $

1-0

 Sun 27

 @ Orl $

1-1

Mar

Opponent

Result

W/L Record

 Wed 02

 @ Den $

1-2

 Fri 04

 @ LAL $

  L 84-92

1-3

 Sat 05

 @ Por $ *

  L 69-93

1-4

 Mon 07

 vs LAC $ * ^

  L 87-92

1-5

 Wed 09

 vs Chi $ * ^

1-6

 Fri 11

 vs Por ^

  W 97-92

2-6

 Sun 13

 @ Tor ^

  W 95-90

3-6

i. A 6-game losing streak [i.e. book-ended by Ws against Sacramento and Portland];

ii. The continued absence of Tyrus Thomas [SF-PF] for a stretch of 7 games [i.e. marked with a $], due to injury;

iii. The absence of Stephen Jackson [OG-SF] for a stretch of 3 games [i.e. marked with a *], due to injury; and,

iii. The absence of Joel Przybilla for a stretch of 4 games [i.e. marked with a ^], due to injury.  

This past Friday, however, Thomas and Jackson each returned to the Bobcats’ line-up.

Despite the on-going absence of Przybilla, the Bobcats have now won two consecutive games, while getting outstanding performances from two unlikely sources, i.e. DJ White [6-9, 251] and Dante Cunningham [6-8, 230] … each of whom is a still-youngish player yours truly first suggested – prior to their respective drafts - would eventually develop into a highly serviceable NBAer,

DJ White, Game Logs/2010-2011
Dante Cunningham, Game Logs/2010-2011

if afforded the opportunity to get consistent minutes.

PG

OG

SF

PF

C

STARTERS

Augustin

Henderson

Jackson-?

Diaw

Brown

KEY SUBS

Livingston

Carroll

Thomas-?

White

Przybilla-?

RESERVES

Temple

 

Cunningham

 

EXTRAS/OUTS

 

 

Najera

McGuire

Diop

There are 16 games left in the regular season schedule, and Charlotte is still very much in the hunt for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

It will be very interesting to see how this version of the Bobcats will perform coming down-the-stretch, if they can ever get themselves 100% healthy.

Main reason Portland should have held onto Przybilla, Cunningham and Marks

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Of all the trades that were made in conjunction with last week’s NBA Trade Deadline, the one which involved Portland and Charlotte might turn out to have the most negative effect on the immediate fortunes of a specific franchise previously thought to be on the rise by many astute NBA observers.

From the Trail Blazers’ Perspective

Sent to the Charlotte Bobcats:
- Joel Przybilla/C, Dante Cunningham/PF, Sean Marks/PF-C and a future 1st Round Draft Pick

Received from the Charlotte Bobcats:
- Gerald Wallace/SF-PF

When you compare the respective BEFORE vs AFTER rosters for Portland:

#

Pos

BEFORE TRADE

ADV

AFTER TRADE

Pos

#

STARTERS

1

PG

Miller

=

Miller

PG

1

2

OG

Matthews

=

Matthews

OG

2

3

SF

Batum

=

Batum

SF

3

4

PF

Aldridge

=

Aldridge

PF

4

5

C

Camby

=

Camby

C

5

 

 

0 x 4 = 0

Sub-total

0 x 4 = 0

 

 

KEY SUBS

6

PG

Mills

à

Fernandez

G/F

6

7

OG

Roy-?

=

Roy-?

G

7

8

SF

Fernandez

à

Wallace

F

8

9

PF

Cunningham

ß

Babbitt

SF/PF

9

10

C

Przybilla

ßßß

?

C

10

 

 

4 x 3 = +12

Sub-total

2 x 3 = +6

 

 

RESERVES

11

PG

Johnson

à

Mills

PG

11

12

PF

Babbitt

ß

Johnson

PG

12

 

 

1 x 2 = +2

Sub-total

1 x 2 = +2

 

 

EXTRAS/OUTS

13

G

Williams [inj.]

=

Williams [inj.]

G

13

14

C

Oden [inj.]

=

Oden [inj.]

C

14

15

C

Marks

ß

?

?

15

 

 

1 x 1 = +1

Sub-total

0 x 1 = 0

 

 

 

 

+15

TOTAL

+8

 

 

what you should be able to see immediately is the GIGANTIC hole which now exists for the Trail Blazers at the Back-up Center position, given the still-injured status of Greg Oden [i.e. former No. 1 Draft Pick] … and just how “small” this team will be anytime LaMarcus Aldridge and Marcus Camby are not on the floor.

When Portland lost to Atlanta, at home, on Sunday night, it was due in large part, to the simple fact that the Hawks pounded the Trail Blazers on the backboards:

Atlanta Hawks, 49 [15/Off]
Portland Trail Blazers, 34 [14/Off]

through the combined efforts of Zaza Pachulia [12], Josh Smith [11] and Al Horford [4].

When the Houston Rockets/#19 pay a visit to the Rose Garden, later on this evening, pay particular attention to whichever team happens to come out on top in the Battle of the Boards … and whether, or not, the Trail Blazers/#18 – who were formerly one of the best Rebounding Differential teams in the NBA, e.g. 2009-2010/#7 and 2008-2009/#1, under the direction of Kevin Pritchard/GM and Nate McMillan/HC - can possibly find a way to address this alarming [and, often-times, fatal] deficiency, in regard to W’s and L’s.

If not … and despite the high degree of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. this corner has for the fine work of Coach McMillan … the last phase of Portland’s regular season schedule this year might well turn out to be extremely disappointing for their exceptionally loyal fanbase, primarily, because – and, in spite of what some “stats gurus” will try to tell you – as good a rebounder as Gerald Wallace happens to be, he DOES NOT play the Center position, and it really does matter a great deal whether, or not, your team actually has a “legitimate” Point Guard, Off Guard, Small Forward, Power Forward and Center in its 5-man unit, at any given point in time, if winning is, in fact, the goal. 

That which doesn’t kill you …

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Prior to the start of NBA training camps this fall, if someone had told you that the Portland Trail Blazers would suffer the following list of injuries to key personnel:

Nicloas Batum, SF – Out for seaon, shoulder surgery
Travis Outlaw, PF – Out for season, foot surgery
Rudy Fernandez – Out indefinitely, back surgery
Greg Oden, C - Out for season, knee surgery
Nate McMillan, HC – Out indefinitely, achilles surgery
Joel Przybilla, C - Out for season, knee surgery

all before December 24, 2009 … and, yet,

their Won-Loss Record would still be 18-12/.600 [2nd, Northwest Division; 6th [tied], Western Conference],

Would you have believed it possible?

Game 30 Recap: Blazers 85, Mavericks 81, and by the way ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?

Breaking News: Joel Przybilla Ruptures Right Patella Tendon & Dislocates Patella; Out Indefinitely

——————————————–

If this most recent injury to Brandon Roy [OG-SF-PG] turns out to be significant …

Freeman: Brandon Roy to Undergo MRI Thursday

it will simply be astounding, if the Blazers are able to compete effectively in their match-up this evening with the San Antonio Spurs, and then for the remainder of this season.

Whatever “deal with the devil” Paul Allen [owner] and Kevin Pritchard [GM] may have made, in regard to the ridiculous level of NBA talent which Portland has been able to assemble on its roster over the last few seasons, surely, cannot possibly be worth the degree of adversity their franchise is having to endure this season … could it?

If the Blazers can somehow make it through this season without falling aparat, completely … it says here that the old adage which goes like this:

“That which doesn’t kill you only serves to make you stronger.”
- Anonymous

will never have been more accurate/true for any other franchise in the storied history of the NBA.

There’s a world-class champion incubating in the Pacific Northwest … if it can just manage to successfully navigate these incredibly turbulent waters this season.

Related:

Diamond in the rough finally begins to glisten

The Value Of Learning How To Lose Before Learning How To Win, in Portland

Monday, December 7th, 2009

In response to a most interesting article by David Berri …

The Impact of Losing Greg Oden
The primary purpose of this post was to highlight how good Oden had played this season (to see how good, please read the post).  Certainly it’s possible that the Blazers could overcome this loss.  But it seems fairly likely that Portland’s season is not going to go quite as well as I thought earlier this year

——————————————–

1. The Blazers were NEVER going to be the best team in the West this season.

2. The Blazers’ overall development arc, as “one of the best teams in the West”, will involve a wider sweep than just 2 or 3 seasons.

3. The problems with this year’s Blazers [at least, so far] this season were not rooted in the play of Greg Oden but in the following list of developments from the last 6 months:

i. Unnecessarily soliciting the services of Hedo Turkoglu [SF/Orlando who eventually signed with Toronto as an UFA], which upset/disrupted the flow they had been developing with Travis Outlaw [PF-SF] and Rudy Fernandez [SF-OG-PG];

ii. Unnecessarily signing a superfluous, ball-dominating PG, like Andre Miller [as an UFA/Philadelphia];

iii. The protracted contract extension negotiations with Brandon Roy [OG-PG-SF] and LaMarcus Aldridge [PF-C]; and,

iv. Re-integrating Martell Webster [OG-SF], a top 8 player, returning from an injury-lost season, into their everyday rotation.

v. The injury sufferred by Nicolas Batum [SF-OG], a long and athletic player who can Defend and Rebound at his specific positions;

vi. The injury sufferred by Travis Outlaw [PF-SF], an under-sized but very versatile and effective player who can: A. take/make big [jump] shots [catch & shoots, plus pull-ups] in the 4th quarter; B. Defend, at the #3/SF or #4/PF with good length and athleticism; and, C. Rebound, at the #/SF or #4/PF position with good length and athleticism.

vii. The long term effects of the “health scare” which their owner, Paul Allen, had last season, that artificially “pushed forward” the team’s perceived “development arc” this past summer in a way which their team was unprepared to cope with at this time … i.e. trying to “win now [!]” instead of gradually continuing their “incremental build-up” over an extended number of years [5-7?].

If Kevin Pritchard truly understands what’s been happening with his squad this season, from a team-building standpoint, then, what he’ll do now is:

I. Not try to “replace” Oden from outside his current group of players;

II. Continue to repair their internal relationships with Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Fernandez;

III. Move Andre Miller for another better-fitting asset, asap;

IV. Allow his group of Core Players to continue to grow together organically … while integrating this off-season’s main additions from the 2009 NBA Draft, i.e. Dante Cunningham [PF-SF], Patrick Mills [PG] and Jeff Pendergraph [PF].

If Kevin Pritchard does things things and then simply waits on the eventual return of Greg Oden … what he’ll have on his hands, 2 seasons from now, is a fully grown team that is ready, willing and able to challenge the Lakers, as the No. 1 outfit in the West, just as Kobe Bryant’s “development arc” is finally beginning to flow downwards its end-point.

On the other hand …

If Kevin Pritchard does not understand these things about the state of his own team, then, what he’ll do instead is “continue to try and rush” the Blazers through this key stage of their “upward arc” … which involves “learning how to lose before learning how to win”, just like Jordan’ Bulls and Zeke’s Pistons and Hakeem’s Rockets and Robinson’s [and Duncan’s] Spurs and Shaq/Kobe’s Lakers each went through before emerging as multiple-time league champions … then what he’ll do is make the WRONG MOVE at the WRONG TIME and end up blowing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which has come his way in Portland, i.e. to construct one of the NBA’s all-time great franchises with the likes of [youngsters] Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Travis Outlaw, Martell Webster, Rudy Fernandez, Nicolas Batum, Jerryd Bayless, Dante Cunningham, Patrick Mills, Jeff Prendergraph and [a healthy] GREG ODEN, plus [oldsters] Joel Przybilla [C], Steve Blake [PG] and Juwan Howard [PF].

The ball is in Kevin Pritchard’s court.

For the Blazers’ sake, it’s important that he doesn’t drop it.

PS. FWIW … Please know that ”curses” do not exist in pro sports. Poor decision-making skills – e.g. bringing injured players back too soon, acquiring ill-fitting players, trying to speed up the development process, etc. - on the other hand, can be found in abundance. :-(

Related:

Latest injury will derail Oden for good

Where to now for Portland?

Blazers confirm Oden’s season is over

Blazers take another small step forward

Blazers take another small step forward

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

“A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.”
- Lao Tzu

——————————

Portland 122, Chicago 98: Everything falls into place for Blazers
For a night, at least, order was restored within the Trail Blazers. Brandon Roy was back at shooting guard and controlling the pace and precision of the offense. Andre Miller, steadfastly saying he is accepting the reins of the second unit, played perhaps as hard and determined as he has all season. And the inside combination of Greg Oden and LaMarcus Aldridge was dominant like never before.  

The Blazers didn’t just beat Chicago on Monday, they overpowered them — dunking over, cutting through and stepping all over the Bulls during a 122-98 victory in front of 20,383 at the Rose Garden, its 79th consecutive sellout.

“A number of things are just starting to come together,” said Roy, who had 18 points and seven assists despite sitting the final eight minutes. “I think guys are back in their natural positions and we sensed that we have to get this going, too.”

Oden tied his career high with 24 points to go along with 12 rebounds, and Aldridge recorded his fifth double double of the season, finishing with 24 points and 13 rebounds. While the Blazers’ big men helped create a 50-32 advantage in points in the paint, the perimeter duo of Roy and Miller (16 points, five assists) not only flourished in separate units, they also thrived when they played together.

 

——————————

Building a championship calibre organization in the NBA is about making small steps forward each and every day … not swinging for the fences.

In Portland … it’s only a matter of time.

Related:

Diamond in the rough finally begins to glisten

ROI … Surprises comes in different forms, in the NBA

Monday, July 6th, 2009

* Tyler Hansbrough makes his summer league debut. Those who think that Larry Bird made a mistake with the No. 13 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft are going to be in for a surprise this season.

* Colangelo works fast and hard to get Turkoglu. Hedo is many things but a player who “creates” shots working off the dribble he is not. Expect THAT from him, without the benefit of a pick and you’ll be in for disappointment Raptors fans.

* What’s next? As the old adage goes: “Some of the best deals a team ever makes are the ones it doesn’t make, in the first place.” Solace for Blazers fans in the aftermath of winning losing the Hedo Turkoglu Sweepstakes.

* Buyer Beware! Things are not always as they first appear to be, when it comes to advantageous signings during the NBA’s free agency period.  

* Nick Collison says Thunder is ready for the next step. Sleep on Oklahoma City this coming season at your own peril.

NBA Double Jeopardy, for $2000: Three small ominous words Blazers fans should NOT want to hear right now

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

ANSWER IS: What are …

#1. Go

#2. For

#3. It

Or, exactly what Portland’s owner recently told Kevin Pritchard [GM] …

Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen tells his GM: Go for it
Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen has told general manager Kevin Pritchard to upgrade the team’s roster for next season, adding suspense, intrigue and pressure to what already figures to be a critical juncture in the team’s pursuit of a championship.

“Overall, our timeline has moved up,” Pritchard said last week after one of several offseason meetings with Allen. “We need to take it to the next level.”

Although Allen wants improvement every season, this summer’s edict comes at a crucial time. The Blazers are one of the league’s brightest teams on the rise, coming off a 54-win season and the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2003. A bad trade, or free agent flop now could be the difference between a dynasty or a dud.

The big question, of course, is how Pritchard goes about improving the league’s second-youngest roster?

Does he listen to coach Nate McMillan’s desire for experience? Does he flex the team’s enviable muscle in the free agency market? Does Pritchard relent to his daring, go-for-it nature and make a blockbuster trade? Or does he sit on his hands as he did at last season’s trading deadline, when he made no moves in order to let his young team progress “organically”?

“Those propositions haven’t come to the forefront yet,” Pritchard said in the waning days before Thursday’s draft.

It’s a jumbled picture right now, with many possibilities and options open to the Blazers. But this much appears to be certain: The Blazers will be a major player when the free agent market opens July 1, and they are open to trading out of Thursday’s draft.

———-

Upgrade the team’s talent for next season?

Please ….

As is, the Blazers’ player roster for 2009-2010 is already slated to be amongst the very best in the NBA:

PG – Steve Blake, Sergio Rodriguez, Jerryd Bayless [Brandon Roy?]

OG – Brandon Roy, Martell Webster [Rudy Fernandez?]

SF – Nicolas Batum, Rudy Fernandez [Travis Outlaw?]

PF – LaMarcus Aldridge, Travis Outlaw, Channing Frye

C – Joel Przybilla, Greg Oden

despite being the second-youngest average aged in the league.

Upgrade the team’s talent?

Is Paul Allen joking????????

———-

The view from here says that now is NOT the right time for the Blazers to attempt their first dive from the High Tower.

Portland [Kevin Pritchard, GM/#1 and Nate McMillan, Head Coach/#2, below] has done a terrific job rebuilding their house, from the ashes which were left following the 2005-2006 season, when they won just 21 games, by:

#1. Drafting and trading in a masterful way, i.e. 2006 NBA Draft; 2. 2007 NBA Draft; and, 3. 2008 NBA Draft …

and,

#2. Posting increasing Win Totals for 3 successive years, i.e. 2006-2007, 2007-2008, and this past season.

Now is the Lakers’ time to shine in the spotlight of the Western Conference, as the Blazers’ young guns gradually acclimatize themselves to life in the Playoffs … by going deeper and deeper each season, for the next 2-3 years, i.e. dabbing their toes in the water this year, swimming for the deep end next season, treading water thereabouts for a while [i.e. bobbing up and down] and ONLY THEN being in an actual position to dive-in, headfirst, for the treasure that lies at the bottom of the sea, where only the very best Jacques Cousteau’s can go … without incurring the bends

Yes, the Blazers have 5 picks in Thursday’s NBA Draft [i.e. No. 24, No. 33, No. 38, No. 55 & No. 56] but by swinging for the fences TOO SOON, in their development as a TEAM … instead of simply allowing more of their own players to evolve naturally and then adding key free agents at a later date, as need be, to get over the “proverbial” hump … they run the very real risk of seeing their hard work go up in a puff of smoke, right now, by adding the wrong player [e.g. Hedo Turkoglu] at the wrong time to an already potent mix.

Patience is a virtue … especially in the NBA … for those seeking to become The VERY BEST in their chosen field.

The current situation in Portland fits into THIS category.

Minor tweaks are okay. Seismic ones are not.

Time is on your side. Be Patient. JUST LET IT HAPPEN.