How does the future of my second favorite NBA team look?

Youth and potential defines the Wizards. Lets see if the new look translates to a better record.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Final and Epic Ideal Moves for the Blazers

My other plans that i have spelled out in recent postings have either been unrealistic to what the blazers would want or not necessarily bring them to championship caliber talent wise. I will split it up into two sections with a few steps. Part 1 i dont see as completely unrealistic and Part 2 i pretty much do but its fun to talk about.

Part 1:

Trade Rudy Fernandez and the rights to Victor Claver to Minnesota for their 2011 20th overall pick

Finally make the trade thats a year overdue.

To Blazers:
Chris Paul
Emeka Okafor
Hornets 2011 second round pick (45th overall)

To Hornets:
Andre Miller
Marcus Camby
Nicolas Batum
Elliot Williams
2 2011 first round picks (20 and 21)

This would make the roster be

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Gerald Wallace
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Emeka Okafor

PG: Patty Mills
SG: Brandon Roy
C: Greg Oden

PG: Armon Johnson
SF: Luke Babbitt
C: Chris Johnson

Then after this go after guys like Carl Landry with the MLE and then Grant Hill with the Bi-annual exception. Then in the draft get guys like Iman Shumpert and Jimmy Butler. 

This roster is great by any standards but if i could convince this next team to do this trade i would go for it in a heartbeat. 

Part 2 (pipe dream)

To Blazers:
Dwight Howard
Hedo Turkoglu 
Brandon Bass

To Magic:
Gerald Wallace
Emeka Okafor
Greg Oden
Wesley Matthews
Blazers 2015 first round pick 
Blazers and hornets 2011 second round picks

what would the roster look like after this trade (you cant tell me that this is entirely unrealistic) it would look a little something like this

PG: Chris Paul
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Dwight Howard

PG: Patty Mills
SG: Brandon Roy
SF: Hedo Turkoglu
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Chris Johnson

SG: Armon Johnson
SF: Luke Babbitt
C: Earl Barron

at this point i would bring over Petteri Koponen and Joel Freeland from europe (they both have shown desire and ability to bring them over this off season) then go after Grant Hill with the Bi-annual exception and most importantly go after Nick Young or Jamal Crawford with the mid level exception. This final roster it would look something like this:

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Nick Young
SF: Grant Hill
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Dwight Howard

PG: Patty Mills
SG: Brandon Roy
SF: Hedo Turkoglu
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Chris Johnson

PG: Petteri Koponen
SG: Armon Johnson
SF: Luke Babbitt
PF: Joel Freeland
C: Earl Barron

why not dream. Its fun. 

now thats a solid 10 man rotation

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Roster Breakdown Day 8: Washington Wizards

Everybody has their favorite team in professional sports. What i like to do is also choose a second favorite. In the NFL i love the Ravens but this year im going for the Buccaneers. In baseball i love the Mariners and also enjoy following the Pirates. In basketball everybody knows i'm an enormous Trail Blazers fan but i have become a Wizards fan as well.

This is an exciting time for the Washington Wizards. John Wall hasn't been a bust and in fact shows nothing but all the expected potential. They have a lot of good assets and a bright future. No, it's not just because of the sick new (old school) uniforms they will be rocking

Its a shame that Nick Young appears to have no desire of resigning with the Wizards but thats not totally a negative thing. It opens up even more cap space and leaves room for a player that fits the mold they are looking for. Lets take a look at the probable depth chart for the Wizards going into the draft

PG: John Wall
SG: Jordan Crawford
PF: Andray Blatche
C: JaVale McGee

SF: Rashard Lewis

SF: Kevin Seraphin
PF: Trevor Booker

There are a lot of open slots. Guess what? That also means there is about 12 million in cap space to work with! Ahhhh even better. Cap space, 2 good first round picks, a high second round pick, the MLE and solid players under good contracts (with the HUGE exception of Rashard Lewis). In fact Andray Blatche is their oldest solid contibutor and hes only 24! Jordan Crawford is 22, John Wall is just 20, and JaVale McGee is only 23. By the way for those who dont know about or believe in the future of the ultra-althetic JaVale McGee a good example of it is a game in February this year against the Bulls where he got a tripple-double 11 points 12 rebounds and 12 BLOCKS. 

The guy is a blocking machine and averaged 2.5 per game this year along with 10 points and 8 rebounds. He should only improve with experience. Also one of the most badass blocks i have ever seen was him this year against Wesley Matthews of all people.

So what do they do in the draft. There are many options and i dont think there is a bad choice among them. With the 6th pick there are a few players that might be around that could be a great fit. In order of who i would draft for the Wiz would be:

1. Jan Vesley 6-11 230 SF - I think its pretty clear at this point that the Wiz like matchup nightmares for other teams. Shown by guys like Andray Blatch playing the 4. Hes 6-11 260 and has good post moves. Thats a big fella for a smaller PF to guard and allows him to dominate. This would be the same with Jan. Even though his offensive skill set is anything but polished he is a great tall and long super athletic good defending wing ala Andrei Kirilenko. He would make a great runner alongside John Wall on fast breaks and brings the perimeter defense the Wiz were lacking.

2. Enes Kanter 6-11 260 PF/C - Enes was supposed to play at Kentucky this year but do to NCAA violations he was unable to do so. He was a highly touted prospect coming out of Turkey and set the all time record for scoring at the Nike Hoop Summit at i believe 34? He has very little proof of his ability and is unwilling to do workouts for teams against other top prospects. He is a big gamble but if he drops to 6 he might be hard to pass up.

3. Kawhi Leonard 6-7 227 SF - Finally here is the pick that i have predicted for about a month now. Leonard out of San Diego State led his team to be a number 2 seed in the tournament. He had great measurements at the combine with a 7-3 wingspan and an 8-10 standing reach with the second largest hands in the entire draft class and only 5.4% body fat. When they actually started workouts he kept improving his draft stock by shooting much better than anyone thought he could from good range and showed elite athleticism with great defensive ability and motor. 

Now that we have the first pick covered lets move onto the next pick the Wizards have the 18th pick. This one seems to be a little more difficult to tell who will be around at this point in the draft. I can make some guesses.

1. Marshon Brooks
2. Markieff Morris
3. Donatas Motiejunas
4. Klay Thompson (if he falls this far)
5. Maybe even Chris Singleton

And finally they ALSO have the 34th overall pick and have a little more room for a gamble with this one. There are a big group of players i can see being picked here. They could depend on how the final workouts end up, where players are picked, and also who the Wiz have drafted at this point. Also keep in mind they will be open to trades.

Jordan Williams
Trey Thompkins
Travis Leslie
Nolan Smith
Darius Morris
Reggie Jackson
Malcolm Lee
Keith Benson
JaJuan Johnson
Jon Leuer
Nikola Vucevic
Shelvin Mack
Kyler Singler
Chandler Parsons

Yes, that is a lot of players. It's lists like these that all teams have big boards ranking the players and have thought up most scenarios already by draft day.

After the Draft the depth chart should look something along the lines of this:

PG: John Wall
SG: Jordan Crawford
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Andray Blatche
C: JaVale McGee

SG: Marshon Brooks
SF: Rashard Lewis
PF: Trey Thompkins

SF: Kevin Seraphin
PF: Trevor Booker

The Wizards at this point need to enter Free Agency with guns blazing and get agressive. They just cant make the same mistakes they have made in the past and overpay players. Some players who might fit on the team and are free agents would be

Aaron Brooks
Carl Landry
JR Smith

Really all they NEED are promising role players that can double as insurance policies and possibly if nothing works out free agency wise maybe leave a big chunk of cap room to be flexible with trades during the season. 

Overall i cant wait to watch the Wizards over the next few years. Lets see how things go. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Portland Trail Blazers Offseason Plan (take 2)

I've been doing more thinking. More than is probably healthy and am regularly changing what i think a good route for the blazers would be for this offseason. With the lockout looming it appears most of the trades will he happening pre/during draft. The way the draft is appearing to end up is forcing teams to take a look at their own rosters and make some quick changes.

I think im getting closer to a slightly more realistic and better direction for the many moves i would like to see this offseason.

First things first the Blazers need and want a point guard of the future. To this need i say talk to the Bucks about Brandon Jennings. They apparently aren't a big fan of what he does. He shoots a poor percentage from the floor and tries to do too much and has been battling a foot issue. He (according to them) doesn't have the pure PG skills they are looking for either. Well i'm glad to hear that the Bucks dont like Jennings because i'd be more than happy to take the guy who has the single game point record for rookies set at 55. He is a great passer and scrappy defender. He can shoot the lights out on any given night and consistency will improve with experience. He can create his own shot and create for others.

How to get him:
To Bucks:
Andre Miller
Wesley Matthews
Nicolas Batum
Blazers 2011 second round pick (51st overall)

To Blazers:
Brandon Jennings
John Salmons
Drew Gooden
Bucks 2011 second round pick? (40th overall)

The Contracts of Gooden and Salmons are pretty crappy but they are both solid players. Gooden is a great backup at center or power forward and will do whats needed for 20 or so minutes every night. Salmons is a solid but not great defender with a solid shot everywhere on the court. He is a weaker but more polished version of what Wesley Matthews could be. I like Miller but hes getting very old and will be worthless in a year or two. Batum, although very talented, seems to be near his full potential and is more valuable in a trade than on the Blazers. Finally Matthews, yes i like him, but hes from Wisconsin and they love him there and i think it would be what pushes the deal through.

The next move is my favorite and most people will probably hate me even more for it (more than the last one). Lets just say I really like this guy. He has tons of proven talent and isn't even near his potential. Yes he has off the court issues and immaturity issues but both are being worked on and have improved. The best part is his team seems more than willing to trade him at this point due to where they land in the draft and they player they can get with the pick.

I'm talking about Michael Beasley. I love what he brings to the table and could be the most lethal 6th man in the league. He is a matchup nightmare for other teams because if you get a guy big enough to gard him that guy is way too slow then if theres somebody fast enough they are too small. He can get his own shot anytime he wants and has a reputation around the league for having incredible work ethic believe it or not.

Plan to get him:
To Timberwolves:
Rudy Fernandez
Elliot Williams
Luke Babbitt
Blazers 2011 first round pick

To Blazers:
Michael Beasley

Criticize all you wish. I think it would not only work and allow the TWolves to draft Derrick Williams and it work but Rudy and Ricky Rubio are friends and fills a SG hole on the roster.

With the second round pick either get Chandler Parsons, Jereme Richmond, or Kyle Singler depending on how things shake out.

Also Pickup ideally Rodney Stuckey for a backup PG with the MLE.

The new Depth Chart would be:

PG: Brandon Jennings
SG: John Salmons
SF: Gerald Wallace
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: Greg Oden

PG: Rodney Stuckey
SG: Brandon Roy
SF: Michael Beasley
PF: Drew Gooden
C: Marcus Camby

PG: Patty Mills
SG: Armon Johnson
SF: Chandler Parsons
C: Chris Johnson

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mock Draft 2.0

1. Kyrie Irving - Cavs
2. Derrick Williams - Timberwolves
3. Enes Kanter - Jazz
4. Brandon Knight - Cavs
5. Jonas Valanciunas - Raptors
6. Kawhi Leonard - Wizards
7. Kemba Walker - Kings
8. Jan Vesley - Pistons
9. Bismack Biyombo - Bobcats
10. Tristan Thompson - Bucks
11. Marcus Morris - Warriors
12. Alec Burks - Jazz
13. Jimmer Fredette - Suns
14. Chris Singleton - Rockets
15. Klay Thompson - Pacers
16. Markieff Morris - 76ers
17. Josh Selby - Knicks
18. Kenneth Faried - Wiz
19. Jordan Hamilton - Bobcats
20. Marshon Brooks - Timberwolves
21. Donatas Motiejunas - Blazers
22. Tobias Harris - Nuggets
23. Darius Morris - Rockets
24. Tyler Honeycutt - Thunder
25. Jeremy Tyler - Celtics
26. Justin Harper - Mavs
27. Nikola Vucevic - Nets
28. Travis Leslie - Bulls
29. Kyle Singler - Spurs
30. Davis Bertans - Bulls

31. Keith Benson - Heat
32. JaJuan Johnson - Cavs
33. Reggie Jackson - Pistons
34. Shelvin Mack - Wiz
35. Trey Thompkins - Kings
36. Charles Jenkins - Nets
37. Jon Leuer - Clippers
38. Jordan Williams - Rockets
39. Lucas Nogueira - Bobcats
40. Nolan Smith - Bucks
41. Malcolm Lee - Lakers
42. Nikola Mirotic - Jazz
43. Chandler Parsons - Bulls
44. Iman Shumpert - Clippers
45. E'Twaun Moore - Pacers
46. Jereme Richmond - Hornets
47. Greg Smith - Lakers
48. Norris Cole - Hawks
49. Cory Joseph - 76ers
50. Vernon Macklin - Grizzlies
51. Jimmy Butler - Blazers
52. Andrew Goudelock - Nuggets
53. Gary Flowers - Magic
54. Willie Reed - Cavs
55. Rick Jackson - Celtics
56. David Lighty - Lakers
57. Malcolm Thomas - Mavs
58. Mychel Thompson - Lakers
59. Joffrey Lauveregne - Spurs
60. Chris Wright - Kings

Monday, May 30, 2011

My (somewhat reasonable) Ideal Moves for the Blazers

I've been doing some thinking about the future of the Blazers recently. Rich Cho is gone. There is uncertainty at most positions, and what is going to happen with Greg Oden and Brandon Roy. Lets just pretend for the sake of this article i was the GM for the Blazers and everything worked out as planned. Also, lets assume that the CBA ends up being very similar with the only exception being an amnesty clause with full cap relief.

Step 1: Use amnesty clause on Brandon Roy.
Step 2: Don't give Greg Oden qualifying offer
Step 3: Trade Marcus Camby to the Knicks for their first round pick in 2011
Step 4: (this is where things get crazy)

To Portland: Cleveland Cavaliers second round pick (32nd overall) and Alonzo Gee
To Detroit: Ramon Sessions
To Cleveland: Richard Hamilton, Rudy Fernandez, Armon Johnson, Luke Babbitt, and Elliot Williams

Cleveland already wants to do this minus the portland part and then trade the 4th and 8th picks for the 2nd from Minnesota.

Then in the draft the Blazers would have the 17th, 21st, 32nd, and 51st picks. Ideally and somewhat realistically i would love to see the picks end up like this:
17: Donatas Motiejunas
21: Darius Morris
32: Jon Leuer
51: Jimmy Butler

After signing each of the picks the cap space would go from around 21 million to about 17 million. At this point you have to look at the free agent market. The 3 players i want to target are:
Jamal Crawford
DeAndre Jordan
Spencer Hawes

Go after Jamal Crawford with a 3 year 30 million dollar contract
DeAndre with a 4 year 28 million dollar contract
then use the MLE on Spencer Hawes

after all of this the roster would look like this

PG: Andre Miller
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Gerald Walace
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge
C: DeAndre Jordan

PG: Darius Morris
SG: Jamal Crawford
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: Donatas Motiejunas
C: Spencer Hawes

PG: Patty Mills
SG: Alonzo Gee
SF: Jimmy Butler
PF: Jon Leuer
C: Chris Johnson

'nuff said

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mock Draft 1.0 (Both Rounds)

Round 1
1. Kyrie Irving -- Cavaliers 6-2 180

2. Derrick Williams -- Timberwolves 6-8 241

3. Enes Kanter -- Jazz 6-10 255

4. Kawhi Leonard -- Cavaliers 6-7 225

5. Jonas Valanciunas -- Raptors 6-10 230

6. Jan Vesely -- Wizards 6-11 240

7. Kemba Walker -- Kings 6-1 172

8. Brandon Knight -- Pistons 6-3 185

9. Bismack Biyombo -- Bobcats 6-9 243

10. Tristan Thompson -- Bucks 6-8 225

11. Marcus Morris -- Warriors 6-9 235

12. Alec Burks -- Jazz 6-6 195

13. Jimmer Fredette -- Suns 6-2 195

14. Jordan Hamilton -- Rockets 6-7 220

15. Kenneth Faried -- Pacers 6-8 225

16. Markieff Morris -- 76ers 6-10 245

17. Josh Selby -- Knicks 6-2 183

18. Klay Thompson -- Wizards 6-6 202

19. Chris Singleton -- Bobcats 6-9 225

20. Marshon Brooks -- Timberwolves 6-5 190

21. Donatas Motiejunas -- Trail Blazers 7-0 220

22. Tobias Harris -- Nuggets 6-8 226

23. Reggie Jackson -- Rockets 6-3 208

24. Nikola Mirotic -- Thunder 6-10 226

25. Jordan Williams -- Celtics 6-10 260

26. Davis Bertans -- Mavericks 6-10 210

27. Justin Harper -- Nets 6-10 225

28. Tyler Honeycutt -- Bulls 6-8 188

29. Lucas Noguiera -- Spurs 7-0 218

30. Charles Jenkins -- Bulls 6-3 220

Round 2
31. Darius Morris -- Heat
32. Travis Leslie -- Cavaliers
33. Trey Thompkins -- Pistons
34. JaJuan Johnson -- Wizards
35. Chandler Parsons -- Kings
36. Nolan Smith -- Nets
37. Kyle Singler -- Clippers
38. Greg Smith -- Rockets
39. Shelvin Mack -- Bobcats
40. Jon Leuer -- Bucks
41. Malcolm Lee -- Lakers
42. Norris Cole -- Pacers
43. Keith Benson -- Warriors
44. Jeremy Tyler -- Bulls
45. Cory Joseph -- Hornets
46. David Lighty -- Lakers
47. Willie Reed -- Clippers
48. Andrew Goudelock -- Hawks
49. Matthew Bryan-Amaning -- Grizzlies
50. Nikola Vucevic -- 76ers
51. Jamie Skeen -- Trail Blazers
52. Vernon Macklin -- Nuggets
53. Ravern Johnson -- Magic
54. Gary Flowers -- Cavaliers
55. Scotty Hopson -- Celtics
56. DeAndre Liggins -- Lakers
57. Chris Wright -- Mavericks
58. Demetri McCamey -- Lakers
59. Jereme Richmons -- Spurs
60. E'twaun Moore -- Kings

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Roster Breakdown Day 7: Golden state Warriors

Tonight is the NBA draft lottery and Golden State finished the regular season at 11th to worst in the NBA. The highest ranked team in history to ever win the draft was at this exact same spot in the lottery. Can it be done again? Probably not. The odds of the Warriors getting the number 1 pick is .8%. For the number 2 pick it's .9% and the number 3 it's 1.2%. Then the next lowest pick they can receive is 11th at 90.7% then 12th at 6.3% and finally 13th at .1%. 

It's almost guaranteed that the Warriors will get the 11th or 12th pick in this years draft. This being said, Bay Area fans should not hang their heads in despair for the Warriors are not far from being a dangerous team. 
Lets take a look at the probable 2011 depth chart

PG: Stephen Curry
SG: Monta Ellis
SF: Dorell Wright
PF: David Lee
C: Ekpe Udoh

SG: Reggie Williams
C: Andris Biedrins

PG: Jeremy Lin
PF: Jeff Adrien

The Warriors need some depth. That starting 5 is solid with maybe the exception of Udoh at center. I would love to see Udoh play behind David Lee and dominate off the bench. The problem is the Warriors have no offense on the bench and well they  have no bench. They need to be active in the free agency market to fill up the roster but also the draft will be important for them as well. There isn't much to say about the current roster other than an amnesty clause would be almost at helpful to Golden State as it would be for Portland with Biedrins making more than 9 mil a year for 3 more years. They need to Improve through the draft. There are a bunch of players that can help the Warriors coming up in this draft but its tough to tell where anybody is going in the draft.

The players that i think would be very successful playing for golden state and should go around the picks they have in the draft are:

First round:
Marcus Morris
Jordan Hamilton
Donatas Montiejunas

Second round:
Keith Benson*
Greg Smith
Justin Harper*
Chandler Parsons
Reggie Jackson*
*commonly projected to go first round

 I have already written about Marcus Morris before in the Utah Jazz Roster Breakdown

Donatas Montiejunas is a 7 footer reminiscent of Andrea Bargnani coming out of Lithuania. He is a great scorer and very smart player for a 20 year old and crafty on the offensive end. He has a great stroke but needs to work on his NBA 3 consistency. Andrea needs to bulk up a little and work on the defensive end. If he does that he has potential to be as defensively sound at LaMarcus Aldridge. The big knock on Montiejunas is that he is immature and it shows. He has a poor attitude and thinks he is more talented than he is. He would be a great fit in the Warriors system working the the high powered offense they run. I doubt he will be picked before number 8 so he should be around when the warriors pick. If Marcus Morris isn't around i would love to see Montiejunas go to the Warriors.

Jordan Hamilton is a 20 year old SF out of Texas that can shoot the lights out. He is 6-7 220 and is improving yearly in every aspect of his game (especially shooting, passing, and rebounding). He can run the floor very well and will do all your dirty work. He should we welcome in the Warriors style of play and fit right in.

I would love to see Keith Benson play for the Warriors. He played college ball for Oakland, just down the street from the Warriors. I wish he would work harder on his shot blocking ability, and well, his defense overall. He is a good offensive player who is a late bloomer. At 6-11 230 he needs to bulk up to play center but his length and jumping ability should make him a great rebounder and offensive player. If he is still around when the Warriors pick in the second round they would be foolish to pass him up.

Greg Smith Justin Harper Chandler Parsons and Reggie Jackson all could be good fits for the Warriors. I doubt that the Warriors would pick them with the picks they have AND i doubt they will be available by that second round pick with the exception of Greg Smith who might be a good choice coming out of Fresno St. All of this being said i think this draft (although commonly ragged on for being shallow) will be very important to the future of the Warriors.


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