Just weeks before the draft, many of us found ourselves ecstatic at the thought of one, maybe even two major off-season moves containing the missing pieces that this young team needed to take the next step towards returning a trophy back to the city of Portland. And as the draft passed with some minor juggling of positioning, everything started to fall apart. Quickly.
An Uneventful Draft
Obviously this was one of the weaker drafts in recent years, but when the rumors of veteran point guards are tossed around on a daily basis and all the Blazers end up with is another European kid we'll likely never see, it's hard to look at this year's draft as a success. With a young core, and a ton of valuable trade market pieces, I would have liked to have seen something. Anything.
The Hedo Moment
Then the free agent talking period opened up and the Blazers' front office made it quite obvious who they wanted. They lined up dinner dates, field trips, and tours all during the nicest weather weekend Portland has seen in years. Only they overlooked one major red flag; the guy they just brought to town to try and "woo" over, didn't bother to bring his wife who had been rumored for days to be after a truly "international" city. Like Toronto.
Bye Bye Free Agents
After the Hedo-flop, it then became apparent that Portland's front office had put everything it had in acquiring the Turk. So when that went south, the team was basically SOL as the rest of the top free agents had all agreed to terms with other top teams. The Lakers, Mavericks and Spurs in theory, are all better now than they were last year. And where is Portland?
Milsap or Bass is it?
Yes, you read that right. At this point, the two remaining free agents worth anything are Brandon Bass and Paul Milsap. Slim pickin' eh? Both would be a nice backup to Aldridge but are either really worth the $6-8 million Portland would have to pay to snatch them away from other teams? Can this get any worse? Yes it can.
Now, I can deal with losing Hedo and any other top free agent that the Blazers may have missed out on, but what I can't seem to shake, is the blurb in the Jason Quick article released late last night. If what he's saying is in any way true about Pritchard vs. Roy/Aldridge, then we should all be headed straight to a bar to load up on whiskey, cigarettes and fried food to drown our sorrows.
The logical part of me is saying, "Jason Quick is full of sh*t. Why would Portland offer old man Turkoglu 5 years and not give their own best player at least the same lengthy contract?" On the other hand I'm thinking, "Maybe he's not understanding at all and really, Roy just wants a 3 year deal which he can max out later (a la LBJ/D-Wade), but the Blazers want him locked in for 5?" Who knows, but that was definitley not the wake up call I needed on a cloudy Thursday morning.
Seriously, what the hell is going on? Has this turned into the off-season of horror?