20 players the Portland Trail Blazers should target this offseason

Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by SlyPokerDog, May 15, 2018.

  1. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    By Geoffrey C. Arnold, The Oregonian/OregonLive




    The Portland Trail Blazers clearly need to upgrade their roster after being swept out of the playoffs in the first round by the New Orleans Pelicans. In a perfect world, the Blazers would be under the salary cap and have money to spend on some of the league's free agents this summer. But without moving on from some of those bad deals from the summer of 2016 - namely the Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard contracts - Portland will have their hands tied. In order to get involved when free agency opens, the Blazers will need to find partners to swing sign-and-trade exchanges to get in the mix and upgrade their roster. With that in mind, here are 20 unrestricted and restricted free agents from around the NBA that the Blazers should consider.





    DeMarcus Cousins, C/F, New Orleans Pelicans

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    Sean Meagher/The Oregonian/OregonLive






    Demarcus Cousins was averaging 25.2 points and 12.9 rebounds a game before a ruptured Achilles tendon ended his season in January. Cousins seems happy with the Pelicans and reportedly has a good relationship with Anthony Davis in New Orleans, but Davis showed in the playoffs that he is the clear franchise player and guard Jrue Holiday is the second option. How will "Boogie" handle being the third option? Do the Pelicans even need him to take another step forward in the playoffs? He would likely command a max salary, so any team that signs him is in it for the long haul. If the Blazers were to get involved, they would have to give up some talent and assets, but Cousins would also be a massive upgrade over current starting center Jusuf Nurkic.




    Lance Stephenson, G, Indiana Pacers (Team option)



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    Matt Slocum/AP





    Known more for his encounters with LeBron James, Stephenson is similar to former NBA star Dennis Rodman. Players hate him as an opponent, but love him as a teammate. Stephenson is a high-energy player who feeds on emotion and happens to be one of the best rebounding guards in the league. A solid passer and defender, he would fit nicely into Portland's current roster.





    JJ Redick, SG, Philadelphia 76ers

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    John Raoux/AP






    The Blazers are always looking for shooting and JJ Redick has shot at least 42 percent or better from 3-point range in the past four seasons. His ability to hit the three would create space and open lanes on the floor for the Blazers slashers like Damian Lillard and Moe Harkless. Redick averaged a career-high 17.1 points a game at age 33 in 2017-18.




    Jeff Green, F, Cleveland Cavaliers


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    Frank Gunn/AP





    The versatile 6-foot-9 Jeff Green is a solid role player who can rebound and he possesses enough quickness to defend just about any position on the court. While he's been criticized in the past for failing to meet lofty expectations, Green is a versatile rotation player who can contribute in a variety of ways. He has also improved his 3-point shot - he's shooting 37.9 percent in the playoffs, after making 31.2 percent in the regular season. At the right price, he would be a great fit for any NBA team.





    Marcus Smart, G, Boston Celtics (Restricted)

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    Matt Slocum/AP







    Known more for his defense and energy, Smart is more than willing to do the dirty work. A versatile and athletic defender, he can defend point and shooting guards as well as small forwards. Smart is capable of doing a little bit of everything on the court on the offensive end as well. He averaged 10.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds a game in 2017-18. With the Blazers lack of backcourt defenders, Smart would be an extremely valuable addition if Portland could convince Boston to let him go.




    Trevor Ariza, SF, Houston Rockets


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    Karen Warren/AP





    Ariza is an experienced and battle-tested veteran player capable of defending both guard and forward positions. More importantly, Ariza's 37.8 percent shooting from the 3-point line represents the third-best percentage of his 13-year career. He knows his role, shutting down opposing scorers and knocking down threes from the corners.





    Zach LaVine, G, Chicago Bulls (Restricted)

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    Nam Y. Huh/AP






    Zach LaVine, the two-time slam dunk champ, wants to be known for more than just sensational slams. LaVine averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per contest in just 24 games after returning from a torn ACL that he suffered in February of last year. He's one of the most athletic players in the league, but inconsistency has plagued the early part of his career. That being said, LaVine is young and has a tremendous ceiling. He's expecting a big-money offer from the Bulls and he'll look elsewhere if Chicago doesn't feel he's in their plans.




    JaVale McGee, C, Golden State Warriors


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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP





    McGee has transformed his reputation from being the butt of "Shaqtin' a Fool" jokes to a valuable member of the Golden State Warriors with his hustle, rebounding and rim protection. He's not an elite defender, but he does possesses length and quickness off his feet, making him a presence in the paint and a great weapon in the open court. McGee could be a great value addition to any NBA team looking to add an athletic big man to their rotation.






    Derrick Rose, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Andy Clayton-King/AP






    The injury-plagued Rose experienced a career resurgence during the playoffs with the Minnesota Timberwolves after a disappointing stint in Cleveland to start the year. Rose averaged 14.2 points a game and scored in double figures in the final three games of his team's first-round series against Houston. He displayed his trademark quickness in getting to the basket and solid perimeter while shooting 50.9 percent from the floor and a scorching 70 percent on 3-pointers. Is Rose really back to his old self, or did he just do enough to earn himself another NBA contract?




    Avery Bradley, SG, Los Angeles Clippers


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    Charles Krupa/AP





    Avery Bradley is known more for his defensive prowess and shutting down opposing guards, but he's capable of scoring as well. Bradley averaged double figures in points per game during each season between 2013 and 2017. He was averaging 15 points a game with the Detroit Pistons before he was traded to the Clippers in January.





    Nerlens Noel, C, Dallas Mavericks

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/AP






    Nerlens Noel won't produce much on offense, but he has the potential to be a big-time rim protector and rebounder when he's healthy and motivated. But Noel comes with baggage. He was suspended five games for violating the league's anti-drug program and he found his way into coach Rick Carlisle's doghouse early in the season and never managed to work his way out. With the right surroundings, a good support system and a renewed focus, Noel has all the characteristics of successful big men in today's NBA. So, which NBA team will take a gamble on him and what will he cost?




    Kevon Looney, F, Golden State Warriors



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    Chris Carson/AP





    His versatility on defense - he can guard post players in the paint and defend guards on the perimeter - has resulted in him playing a career-high 13.8 minutes a game with the Warriors. Looney's defense on New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis was solid and the Warriors may regret not exercising their fourth-year option on him. Their loss could be another NBA team's gain.





    Will Barton, SF, Denver Nuggets

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    Alex Brandon/AP






    Would the Trail Blazers be interested in bringing "The Thrill" back? Will Barton posted a breakout season with career-highs in points (15.7) and assists (4.1) while his rebounding (5.0) was the second-best mark of his career. He shot 45.2 percent from the floor and 37 percent from distance, also career-highs. Barton continues to improve and is expected to solicit considerable interest from teams around the league. And for good reason. He is the prototypical NBA swingman who could start at both shooting guard or small forward depending on the matchup.




    Luc Mbah a Moute, SF, Houston Rockets


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    Getty Images





    Luc Mbah a Moute has proven to be a key player in the Rockets rotation this season as Houston led the league this year in wins. He averaged 7.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game off the bench, but his intangibles are what has been such a boost for the Rockets this season. Mbah a Moute is an excellent team player, helping teammates on defense and making the right passes. He's listed as a small forward, but Mbah a Moute is more than capable of playing as a "stretch four" when called upon. That would work well for him in Portland where the Blazers have seen a lot of success with their small-ball lineups.





    Montrezl Harrell, PF, Los Angeles Clippers (Restricted)

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    Andy Clayton-King/AP







    Harrell is one of the most underrated and efficient scorers in the league. He made 63.5 percent of his shots in 2017-18 and has made 64 percent of his shots during his three-year NBA career. Harrell averaged 11 points and 17 minutes a game during the season, but that scoring average jumps to 31 points a game per 48 minutes. The Blazers have been searching for a capable post presence for quite awhile. Could they find the player their looking for in LA?




    Brook Lopez, C, Los Angeles Lakers


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    Mark J. Terrill/AP





    Lopez produced a solid season in 2017, averaging 13 points, 4.0 rebounds and. 1.3 blocked shots a game while shooting 46.5 percent from the floor but hasn't found the same type of success he had early in his career with the Brooklyn Nets. That being said, Lopez is evolving his game. The big man has developed a 3-point shot, making 34.5 percent from beyond the arc. Part of this is contingent on what happens with Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. If Nurkic receives a huge offer elsewhere, the Blazers may let him walk.





    Corey Brewer, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    John Raoux/AP






    Corey Brewer is a 10-year NBA veteran, but despite his age he could bring a wealth of experience to a relatively young Trail Blazers squad. He's also a winner - Brewer was a member of the Dallas Mavericks team that captured the 2011 NBA title and he won back-to-back NCAA championships while at Florida. Also, he'll come fairly cheap relative to the cost of capable NBA small forwards in today's market.




    Kyle Anderson, SF, San Antonio Spurs (Restricted)


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    Eric Gay/AP





    Kyle Anderson posted a breakout season in his third year with 7.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game - all career-highs - in 2017-2018. Anderson's versatility earned him 67 starts with the Spurs and coach Gregg Popovich likened him to a Swiss Army knife with the way he can contribute in a variety of ways. He possesses the length and ballhandling skills that allow him to play at either guard position and at times he can guard slower small forwards as well.






    Dante Exum, PG, Utah Jazz (Restricted)

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    Alex Goodlette/AP






    Exum produced a bit of a breakout performance during the Jazz's playoff series against the Houston Rockets despite his team's exit, displaying a consistent ability to attack the basket and providing a solid defensive effort, particularly on James Harden. The 6-foot-6 Exum needs to work on his jumper and he has to find a way to avoid the injuries that have plagued him during his career. But he's another player who has a high ceiling and could be a major steal depending on the price tag for his services and Utah's willingness to part with him.




    Julius Randle, PF, Los Angeles Lakers (Restricted)


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    Eric Gay/AP






    Randle posted career-highs in scoring (16.1 points, tied for team-high) and shooting (55 percent, 10th-best in the NBA) during the 2017-18 season. He's an intriguing player as he can play a variety of positions and can be a matchup nightmare if used correctly. Randle is capable of both running the floor and physically overpowering opponents in the post when things slow down. His game improved as the year progressed where he averaged 19.5 points and 9.4 rebounds after the All-Star break. If the Lakers decide they can't afford him in their quest to get better through free agency, some team may strike gold by adding him to their roster.




    http://www.oregonlive.com/nba/index.ssf/2018/05/nba_free_agency_2018_20_free_a.html#incart_m-rpt-2
     
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  2. kjironman1

    kjironman1 Back from 0-2!

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    There are a bunch of players i would love to see in a Blazer uniform. Now lets see if Olshey can make something happen.
     
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  3. MARIS61

    MARIS61 Real American

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    I thought we could only have 15? :dunno:
     
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  4. Gronk Brady

    Gronk Brady Well-Known Member

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    You realize the Blazers don’t have any cap room right? Seems like the guy the wrote this article forgot the minor detail that Blazers are way over the cap
     
  5. TorturedBlazerFan

    TorturedBlazerFan Well-Known Member

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    Most of these guys will want more than the MLE which is all I think the Blazers have to offer a FA isn’t it?
     
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  6. Gronk Brady

    Gronk Brady Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that’s why this article is a joke... how do people like this get jobs writing sports columns
     
  7. TorturedBlazerFan

    TorturedBlazerFan Well-Known Member

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    There are guys I’d want for sure, I feel like it’s more of a list of “best FA’s” than anything else...
     
  8. e_blazer

    e_blazer Rip City Fan

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    “But without moving on from some of those bad deals from the summer of 2016 - namely the Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard contracts - Portland will have their hands tied. In order to get involved when free agency opens, the Blazers will need to find partners to swing sign-and-trade exchanges to get in the mix and upgrade their roster. “
     
  9. stampedehero

    stampedehero Play On>>>/ SRV

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    I would like to see either Ariza, Brewer or Anderson here. All are Small Forwards and that position is what we need to strengthen.
     
  10. Sarni

    Sarni Well-Known Member

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    The only way we can get Boogie is through sign and trade by sending them CJ. It’s actually not that bad of a deal for either side as long as Cousins can return to his best. Pelicans could use CJ.

    I like Randle a lot but again, we have no real way of getting him.

    I like Harrell. Exum and Kyle Anderson have potential but I wouldn’t give much for them.

    I don’t like any of Stephenson, Smart, LaVine, Bradley, Noel, Looney, Lopez, Brewer.

    Redick, Ariza, Mbah a Moute and Green are too old and Green isn’t even good anymore.

    McGee and Rose are extremely meh.
     
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  11. Sarni

    Sarni Well-Known Member

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    What’s appealing about Brewer though? He can’t shoot to save his life and offers little to no offense overall.

    Ariza is too late now. He will be declining and I doubt he will come on a one year deal.
     
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  12. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus This is what it looks like when a platypus cries. Staff Member Moderator

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    ...which would be stupid because it would hard cap us at the apron and likely make it impossible to keep Nurkic, use our TPE, or round out our roster in any significant way.
     
  13. Rastapopoulos

    Rastapopoulos The Dark Left

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    I think we see why newspapers are dying.
     
  14. bodyman5000 and 1

    bodyman5000 and 1 Lions, Tigers, Me, Bears

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    Kind of depressing. None of them would really help that much and we don't have much chance of getting any of them anyway.
     
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  15. e_blazer

    e_blazer Rip City Fan

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    ???
    I read that as saying that to get one of those players the Blazers would have to get their current team to agree to a sign and trade deal where the Blazers would off-load one of their bad contracts in combination with another asset so that their team salary stays about the same. ET and a future first for the new player, as an example. Seems unlikely to me, but not impossible. How would that hard-cap the Blazers?
     
  16. UKRAINEFAN

    UKRAINEFAN Well-Known Member

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    Most of the interesting ones are restricted free agents. Can a team even make an offer to them if they are over the cap?
     
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  17. PtldPlatypus

    PtldPlatypus This is what it looks like when a platypus cries. Staff Member Moderator

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    If a team engages in any of the activities not permitted by the CBA for teams over the apron (~6M over the luxury tax line), then that team is subsequently hard-capped at the apron for that fiscal year. Those activities include using the non-tax MLE, using the BAE, and bringing in a player in a sign-and-trade deal.

    http://www.cbafaq.com/salarycap.htm#Q20
     
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  18. tester551

    tester551 Well-Known Member

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    Only up to the tax payer MLE.

    So Portland could make an offer, but no team would not match if the player was halfway decent
     
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  19. tester551

    tester551 Well-Known Member

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    Yep. It's understanding details of the CBA that separate good from dumb articles.

    A lot of people gloss over those details and think they 'understand' it, but it's obvious that they don't.
     
  20. e_blazer

    e_blazer Rip City Fan

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    But couldn’t they could get below the apron by renouncing a player that they don’t intend to bring back, say Napier, and then do the S&T before signing Nurk?
     

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