Blazers fans know what it’s like to wait. We’ve been waiting for another championship since ‘77. Blazers fans waited years for Arvydas Sabonis to come over and play for the team. This past year, Blazers fans had to wait for a GM to be hired. Now Blazers fans are waiting, along with the rest of the NBA, for moves to be finalized. Moves can’t be finalized until the 11th of July and the Blazers are waiting on a few very important ones.
One of the moves that the Blazers and their fans are waiting on revolves around a player that couldn’t play for the Blazers this year even if they wanted him to. Brandon Roy, a player that the Blazers used the amnesty clause on, has decided to return to the NBA this season and the Minnesota Timberwolves are willing to give him a shot. Roy and the Timberwolves have, according to espn.com, verbally agreed to a two-year deal. Blazers fans should be happy to see Brandon Roy return to the NBA. If his knees are going to allow him to enjoy playing, then the fans who have claimed to care about him should be glad to see him have another chance in the league. Blazers fans should realize that Brandon Roy signed a two-year deal with the Timberwolves. Two years is the exact length of time that the Blazers would have to wait before resigning him.
The Timberwolves have also offered a contract to Blazers restricted free agent Nicolas Batum. Reports indicate that the Batum deal is for four years and that Batum is asking the Blazers not to match the contract offer. I wrote an article earlier this year about the Blazers needing to keep Batum on the roster and I stand by that sentiment. I still believe that Batum is going to be one of the top small forwards in the league within a couple of years. The only problem is that if Batum doesn’t want to be a Blazer, he’s never going to become the type of player I believe he can be. So it may well be in both the team and Batum’s best interests to let the Minnesota deal go through. One option available to the Blazers in this situation is to execute a sign and trade and attempt to recuperate some value when they let Batum go. I actually think that it’s better to simply allow Batum to walk and take the money that is freed up by that and turn it into players other than the ones they would receive from Minnesota. They could use that money to pay for one of the moves that they have in the works, for instance the Roy Hibbert deal.
The Blazers have offered the Pacers center a max contract. While Hibbert is a solid and consistent center who I would be more than happy to see the Blazers pursue at a lower price, I don’t feel he’s worth the contract that the Blazers have offered him. I know that you are going to overpay for players at a position that you need. I just don’t see the value in overpaying for a player like Roy Hibbert. The Blazers could, in my opinion, be better served by signing a lower level center like Omar Asik and then spending money in other places. Omar Asik, who the Blazers have talked with, is not as good of a center as Roy Hibbert, but nor is he that much worse. The Blazers would be able to have success with a center like Omar Asik. I believe they’d be able to have more success with Asik and another player or two than they would with Hibbert holding down the fort.