Thursday, February 16, 2006

Trade Theo??? WHY??

There are more reports out of New York that the Blazers want to move Theo, and the NBA people I have spoken to around the league say whether it is New York or somewhere else, the Blazers are actively shopping the backup center. But the question is, WHY? You have to ask, what good will it do? I'll explain:

*If they move just Theo and another "minor" contract (read 1-2 million per year) they do nothing in terms of cap room. The Blazers would be around 3 million below the 2006-07 cap. By doing this, they could actually hurt their position for the 2006 offseason. How? Simply put, to have a full mid-level exception available, which you would think the Blazers would use on Joel P., they need to either be over the salary cap, or under by around 5-6 six million. So you are better off being OVER instead of 3-4 million under.

*So to improve upon this financial situation, the Blazers would then need to move another substantial contract such as Ruben Patterson or Darius Miles. Then you put yourself around 6-7 million under the cap for 06-07. But by doing so, assuming all the while you are getting an expiring contract in return (Penny Hardaway), you have made the worst team in the Western Conference even worse, and probably only given yourself a better chance to sign one player, in this case Przybilla. While he would probably be happy to sign for slightly more than the mid-level (and no, the Blazers would not have the mid-level AND the 6-7 million under the cap to sign another player) which would effectively give you this current team, minus a legitimate, yet overpaid backup center, and either Darius-your leading scorer, or Patterson-your most versatile option off the bench, would be gone. Part of that cap space would also have to be used up to sign the first round pick, and assuming it is a high slot, that would take another 2-3 million off of your cap space.

*So.... why do it?

*Or.... another option to save more cap room for next year, assuming the Blazers trade Theo and another contract. They could trade their upcoming first round pick, which will be high, and get one back for the 2007 Draft. While that means you would be without a first round pick for this year, and the remainder of this season, and next, would also be lame-duck seasons, they could stockpile draft picks for the 2007 Draft, which one NBA Scout told me today will be "outstanding." That is compared to the 2006 Draft, which is said to be below average, and heavy on perimeter players. Why is that significant? Because the team has drafted five (Outlaw, Monia, Telfair, Webster, Jack) true perimeter players in the last three first rounds. Do they need more?

*Going back to the Draft, which we all get excited about when a team has a lottery pick, how about the fact that the Blazers have had five first round picks in the last two drafts, yet not one of those players has been selected to play in the All-Star Weekend Rookie Challenge? Are you still excited about the Draft?

Finally, keep in mind that both John Nash and Steve Patterson told about 10 media members, including me, before the start of the season that in the next few years "they will never have true cap room to work with." So why make the trade?

06-07 Cap: so to recap....If the Blazers trade Theo and Darius for an expiring contract, they will have approximately 41.9 million on the cap for next year (it is my understanding from people who know about the CBA that DA's contract counts against the cap, but not for luxury tax purposes). But.... if you have to add in a high first round pick (approximately 2 million) that brings you close to 44 million, and then if you also take back David Lee from the Knicks, there is almost one million more. So you are left, best case, with about 5-7 million, much of which would be spent on Joel P. And you lose your depth at center, your leading scorer, and you take the worst team in the Western Conference and suddenly it may not be able to even compete night in and night out.


At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Chris Snethen said...

Finally, keep in mind that both John Nash and Steve Patterson told about 10 media members, including me, before the start of the season that in the next few years "they will never have true cap room to work with." So why make the trade?

Because, like the 25-point pledge before it, statements from Blazers brass aren't worth the paper (or blog) they're printed on. They'll hang with the statement until it doesn't fit their current mindset, then they'll throw it overboard.

The team is doing some great things with personnel right now, Telfair notwithstanding. Theo's not part of the future of the organization. And Przybilla may not be either. Given those two realities, maybe a deal is the best thing.

At 10:01 PM, Blogger BuddyJay said...

I am still confused about the cap and the Blazer situation. I thought the big three contracts of Theo, Miles, and Randolph were the reason behind capped out salary situation. If you lose two of those and do not receive contracts in return (expiring contracts), then how do you not see increased cap room going into next season?

With a team full of role players, it seems to me the focus should be on acquiring an impact all star player. You can't over pay for Joel P. bottom line. He has made an impact on the defensive end and definately adds to the toughness of the team, but he could be just another bloated cap figure a year after you sign him (see Theo).

The Blazers have blown the last couple drafts and cannot look forward to the next two drafts. They must finally cash in some of their chips now, and use the billionare luxury they can afford. Outlaw does have trade value. Trading Joel THIS YEAR gets them something for nothing. Trading Telfair and committing to Jack will add another potential trade piece. Trading Miles for an expiring contract may not help the cap in obvious ways for next year, but it does help long term, which is the only perspective the Blazers can look in their current mind set.

Also, it hasn't been mentioned the salary cap will go up next year. This should be added to the analysis. If you don't resign Joel P, say you get Melvin E for Outlaw, Miles and Telfair for Penny. The team WILL be in a much better situation for signing a free agent into next season. That would leave them with young developing talent, a solid Randolph, perhaps an impact perimiter player, and still a bank of trade pieces. Yes, you would have to rely on Ha, and the Monias, Kryopas, Websters would have to step up as role players, but you would start to see a solid team built for winning in the future and respectability now.

Ha will be just as good as Joel P, and has a higher ceiling to be even better.

At 11:25 AM, Anonymous David T. said...

A good question to ask and answer this afternoon is: Who are the big impact free agents in the next year or two that would be worth making a run at? If you are serious about clearing cap room to make a run at an impact free agent, it would be interesting to know who might be available. Hopefully that can be added to the mix of discussion this afternoon. Thanks, David.

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Kevin said...

Once again Ian, you prove you cannot see the forest through the trees....

Miles and Theo to NY for Penny, Lee and DEN #1...which has been rumoured earlier...does help POR.

Wasn't it you who stated that POR signing Miles\Theo was such a "big" mistake....Wasn't it you who advocated POR to extricate themselves from such contracts? and that ANY trade doing so, would be a "win" for the franchise?

How convenient of you to change your position in order to bash Blazer mgmt, of which you obviously loathe....

David Lee is not a scrub, he is a good young PF who would definitely help this team...Penny's contract gets POR out from under both Theo & Miles deal...Has POR played any noticeably better since Miles has returned? Or when he was playing? I sure don't think so. Wow, so they beat a Charlotte team with him, a team with a worse record than POR.

Next year's draft may be "weaker" as a whole, but the top 5 picks surely are not "weak", and it doesn't tkae a genius to see that possibly 5 out of the top 6 picks will be Small Forwards...meaning outside LaMarcus Aldridge...POR with its pick (anywhere from #1 to #5) will be choosing from a pool of players like Rudy Gay, Adam Morrison, Andrea Bargnani, Shawne Williams & Rodney Carney) each of whom is likely better than ANY SF currently on the roster and 3 of whom (Gay\Morrison\Bargnani)have the potential to be "franchise" type players...

And how do we know this is the only move POR will make? How do we know that POR won't deal Ruben for an expiring deal...and even if no other trades are positions POR well for the future when both DA and Ruben's deals come off the book (a little over a year from now) where POR could be sitting about $10 million or so under the cap...

I think there is more to this potential trade than you see upon first glance...

At 2:31 PM, Blogger Michael Namba said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Michael Namba said...

David T,

Here ya go, some of the premier names are: Amare Stoudemire, Ben Wallace, and Tayshaun Prince.

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to disagree about whether it's worthwhile to make the Theo/Darius trade. If you look at just next year, I'd actually call it a wash--someone posted that Ruben could decline his option (I think likely he will) and that would provide additional space.

More to the point, however, is that there is a logjam at small forward, and Darius doesn't fit McMillan's concept of 'hard-working, team-first' kind of guy well enough to be worth the $$ he's going to be earning.

This trade also adds West who provides sorely needed depth at the 4 and takes Theo's contract off the books for the following year as well, when he'll just be older.

So overall, I'd be very happy to see them pull this off.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger BuddyJay said...

Additional information was added by Ian today to include some numbers, but how about, "What is the freaking cap number?" Those numbers mean nothing to me without the salary cap figure. I assume it is around $50m.

Also, someone commented on the fact that this trade wouldn't be the only one made, and I agree. They have tins of trade pieces in the cupboard to accomplish more moves. Also, the #1 pick could be included in a trade for an impact player, taking that away from the cap.

All in all, I think the anti Theo trade comments were a nice talking point, but a little short sighted. So many options are available to this team, and let's not forget that the cap doesn't matter as soon as Paul Allen decides that it doesn't.

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous JT said...

A big thing about the "cap talk" that most don't seem to get is that it is not only about NEXT year. It is about the FUTURE (3-5 yrs),and when the Blazers feel the team can really started competing. Miles and Theo are NOT part of the future of this team; however, they are signed to large, long-term contracts. This trade would allow the Blazers too have a TON of flexibility going into the times when it really will count. It's a no brainer if NY will go for the trade.

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Spotchester said...

I really hope we've learned our lesson and don't overpay Joel. I like Joel, he seems like a good guy, but he's not an elite player - he's just not.


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