June 26, 2015 at 3:59 pm #20383
I think it is noteworthy that the option was not picked up on Affalo this week and that Blake was included in a trade to bring in Plumlee while bringing in no guards. It’s early in the process but the stock must be way up on a former #10 pick.June 27, 2015 at 4:17 am #20403
I’m sure CJ’s stock is up, but a few things relative to the above:
1. Portland didn’t have an option on Afflalo. It was a player option and thus his decision to leave. Denver traded him to Portland late this season partly because he was a rental player.
2. SG Wesley Matthews is a free agent and is likely leaving. That is a much bigger loss than Afflalo and will have a major impact on CJ’s minutes. Matthews missed the latter part of the season but is supposed to be ready to play at or near the start of the 2015-16 season.
3. On draft night, Portland traded for SG Gerald Henderson Jr., who started for Charlotte the past 4+ years and averaged around 15 ppg. He could well take over as a starter for them at the two, with CJ coming off the bench.
In any event, with Portland losing Aldridge, Batum, Afflalo, Blake, and possibly Robin Lopez, they likely will not be a contender for the next couple years. They probably will make a play for a big-name free agent but could easily come up empty.June 27, 2015 at 4:36 am #20404
Is Aldridge move a done-deal? Hadn’t seen that yet…June 27, 2015 at 4:52 am #20405
Virtually a done deal that he’s leaving Portland. A good shot to land at San Antonio if they can clear cap room. Other possibilities are Dallas and the Lakers. Also some talk about Houston and the Celtics. Outside shot of the Cavs if they could work a sign and trade with Kevin Love.June 27, 2015 at 5:46 am #20407
Love will stay in CLE, not even a question. Move would be asinine.
P.S. Henderson is a backup, no question. Connaughton is a bigger threat to starting spot – and he’s no threat either.June 27, 2015 at 1:42 pm #20408
Why are you so certain about Henderson being a backup? He started the last five years and averaged 15 ppg. Henderson certainly is not a great player but he is a solid one. And Charlotte is certainly not a great team, but over the past two seasons they may have been as good as Portland will be in the coming season. I don’t think he’a a certain starter by any means – but I think he could end up starting if Matthews is gone.
I forgot to mention Connaughton in my original post, but I don’t see him challenging for a starting job. There is a reason he was not picked until #41 in the draft – and it’s not just that he is a two-sport athlete. There are very few players who have ever been selected that late in the draft and started as rookies (or ever).June 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm #20409
There is a lot to happen yet so everything we say is just projecting. Matthews is the enigma. Achilles injuries can be career ending. I’m not sure how many teams will have legitimate interest in him. I’m not sure Portland does either. IMHO, Henderson is the insurance. I don’t know if CJ will start next year or not. He and Henderson have very different skill sets. The latter is a tough defender but not that skilled of a shooter, CJ, of course, can really shoot but still doesn’t defend that well. With the changes so far this off season, I still feel however that CJ will get a lot of minutes, perhaps 25-30/game. With the trade of Blake, more of those may be spent at PG next season. Somehow Stott is going to find a way to get him on the court. Just my opinion.July 3, 2015 at 6:29 pm #20466
Wesley Matthews signs with Mavs. Another positive sign for CJJuly 4, 2015 at 7:47 pm #20478
Now that Aldridge has committed to the Spurs, Portland is left with only one returning starter. In the past few weeks, they have lost:
– laMarcus Aldridge left for the Spurs
– Wesley Matthews left for the Mavs
– Aaron Afflalo left for the Knicks
– Robin Lopez left for the Knicks
– Steven Blake was traded to the Nets
– Nicolas Batum was traded to Charlotte
– Thomas Robinson signed with the Nets.
They have added Vonleh, Henderson, Plumlee, Ed Davis, And Farouq Aminu. There will be lots of playing time for CJ, but unfortunately it will be for a fairly weak team. Major rebuilding project in Portland.July 4, 2015 at 8:49 pm #20479
Agreed. They are now in dire need of an impact big man. Anybody of note still on the FA market?July 5, 2015 at 2:18 am #20480
One small correction Thomas Robinson was playing with the 76ers for the latter part of last season.July 6, 2015 at 6:43 pm #20491
Another update on CJ & Co.July 7, 2015 at 4:59 pm #20497
Grantland on the biggest NBA winner and loser in free agency:
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