Portland Needs To Look East Not Up For Sunshine
In typical Portland Trailblazers fashion, there has been no sunshine since Halloween and none on the horizon anytime soon. The same can be said for the TrailBlazers brass at One Center Court until now.
A potential sun break could come from the Atlantic and could net a rainbow if Portland’s brass is willing to weather a local media storm in the interim.
A rainbow and a pot of gold in the form of Boston point guard Rajon Rondo.
Similar to the flood of questions at the Rose Garden Arena embarrassing home losses and inconsistent play, Boston’s TD Ameritrade Garden has been flooded with questions regarding Rondo’s trade prospects in management’s attempt to kickoff a youth movement after their most recent NBA Championship run in 2008.
Boston fans are torn about whether to keep Rondo or to deal him, but Portland fans should have no such qualms his pursuit.
The Portland Trail Blazers, short of giving up LaMarcus Aldridge or half of the roster must pursue Rondo.
Portland must entertain a deal if the Celtics are willing, and that’s a big if considering the trade the two franchises made last decade: Randy Foye, Raef LaFrentz, Dan Dickau to Portland for Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, and a second-rounder deal in 2006, in which Portland then used Foye to get Roy while the Celtics were left with three towel waivers.
There are plenty of incentives for Portland to initiate talks for Rondo, because the Boston point guard would do three things for the Portland franchise:
1. Point Guard Solution
Rondo would solve the point guard dilemma in Portland. Similar to incumbent Raymond Felton, Rondo is not a great shooter and at times could not hit the Willamette River from Swan Island, but he is one of the few point guards that has the ability to get to the rim at will.
This is a trait that Raymond Felton does not have.
2. Rewards LaMarcus Aldridge
Rondo gives Portland a second legitimate all-star. What better way to reward LaMarcus Aldridge than to give him a point guard that will help him improve on a blossoming career? Rondo has experience playing with a pick-and-pop forward in his tenure with Kevin Garnett, and he would likely mesh with a player of Aldridge’s skill set
3. Franchise Rejuvenation
The Blazers need a jolt in the worst way possible. I discussed how the shadow of Brandon Roy still lingers at One Center Court and Rondo’s arrival at PDX would give the fan base something positive to talk about.
Rondo will not solve all of Rip City’s problems, but he is under contract for the next three seasons after this one, so there would be little need to worry about him leaving.
Using the ESPN Trade Machine, the following trades would be reasonable to attempt:
1. Gerald Wallace, Nicolas Batum, Elliot Willams for Rondo, Mickael Pietrus
Option one would provide immediate talent for the Celtics both now (Wallace and Batum) and in the future (Batum).
The second option provides talent (Matthews and Batum) is all about freeing up cap space to reload in Boston. Oden, Johnson and Batum can all come off the books at season’s end, allowing the Celtics to pursue free agents or take on more salary in the near future.
3. Jamal Crawford, Matthews, Batum, and Williams for Rondo and Keyon Dooling
Option three provides talent (Crawford, Matthews, Batum) and cap flexibility (Crawford has a player option at the end of the year).
The trade scenarios do not include draft picks due to ESPN trade machine constraints.
History shows that superstar-for-superstar trades rarely occur, so that gives Portland a reason to believe that Rondo could be attainable without having to give up Aldridge.
The moves would be for the future of the franchises not necessarily the present, especially in Boston’s case.
Portland is currently weathering through a storm at the moment and the franchise needs temporary relief for the inconsistent play this season. Even if a trade for Rondo netted losses at the beginning of his Portland career, the team could explain that away due to a lack of familiarity.
In the torrential rainfall, the team and fans are looking to the sky for some relief.
All management needs to do is look towards Boston a rainbow and a pot of gold.