THESE are actually the players The Portland Trail Blazers (and others) should be targeting in Free Agency:
I’m also going to assume you set your internet browser to hoopshype.com/rumors
a couple of days before the NBA Draft to get all that juicy news pop’n off right now.
AND I’m going to assume you watched the draft and/or at least have been paying attention to the picks / trades that have gone down in the last couple days. WHOOAAAAA! We are in for a fun summer.
Side note – I’m going to assume you DIDN’T get tricked by that fake Woj twitter account when he tweeted out Jimmy Butler being traded to the Heat. You know who you are….
So here we are, a couple of days after the draft….WHAT NOW??
Well we are going to look towards free agency and all the possibilities that adding (or re-signing) a player to your respective squad can bring.
“Yo, Kevin Durant to the Lakers would be dope,” says the idiot Laker fan who lives in a fantasy world.
BUT I DON’T CARE ABOUT KEVIN DURANT. Hell, I don’t even care about Al Horford, a guy most Blazers fans have at the top of their list. No, not me.
This list is the list of actually attainable players that the Blazers (and other NBA teams) should target this offseason. Guys who’s on court value is realistically more or equal to the price tag that they could be had for. They call me the bargain hunter.
Why spend max salary money (roughly 20 million annually) for Ryan Anderson, when you can have the first guy on our list for half the price?
#1 MIRZA TELETOVIC
That’s right, starting with a BANGER
At 6’9 242 this guy is the epitome of a modern era stretch four. For god’s sake, he shoots 40% from 3point land and has almost identical per36 numbers compared to Ryan Anderson, who by the by is going to get close to a max contract, when this Bosnian Brotha could be had for less then half that. And it’s not like Ryan Anderson is some defensive stalwart, so don’t even try to bad mouth Mirza’s lateral foot speed. Save 10 million bucks and get 85% of the value. The Blazers could use an actual knock-down stretch 4 off the bench (you heard me Meyers).
#2 LUOL DENG
Let me throw some terms and phrases at you: long, athletic, veteran, savvy, can guard multiple positions, still has some gas in the tank, known as one of the best locker room guys in the league, and won’t break the bank. We are basically hoping Aminu becomes Luol Deng in the next year, so why not bring in the man himself to teach him the ways? I guarantee he will get close to Harrison Barnes production next year, at a fraction of the cost.
#3 IAN MAHIMINI
That’s right, it’s ya boi YAWN. All aboard the Mahini-mini-me-express. This bro loves to do the dirty work, he’s gotten better every year he’s been in the league, he’s played for winners and great coaches (Spurs and Mavs early in career), and he’s used to getting paid peanuts. You can have a starting center in the NBA for 8 million a year. I’LL TAKE IT! This guys basically a better/stronger Ed Davis, although I do love E-D.
#4 DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS
“Whoa you mean that dude with the hurt back, on the Rockets?” YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT I DO.
Dontada Umblegata is a young (25) Lithuanian (Sabonis) with a big body (7ft) and a scorching 3 ball (37% when healthy in 2015). Did I hear someone say stretch 5? And for those of you who are still worried about his back injury, and the fact that him traded away from the Rockets was rescinded this year because of it – lets not forget in 2009 when the Thunder rescinded the trade that would have sent them Tyson Chandler because of his big toe (yes, his big toe). Tyson went on to win a title with the Mavs as their star center, and the Thunder went on to lose the title to the Heat because of a lack of center.
#5 JARED DUDLEY
A vet, and a knock down 3 point shooter, who might be the best ref talker in the league. This is a guy you want in the locker room and on the court to shepherd your young stars and teach them the “right way” to win games. Am I biased because I think he’s a good podcast guest, yes. But will his 6 million a year salary pay off when he knocks down a corner 3 in a close playoff game, also yes.
#6 DWIGHT POWELL
This is basically the PF/C version of Aminu last year. He was a backup on Dallas–an athletic big man who came in, rebounded his ass off, ran the court, and still has high level potential. He will be had for a very cheap price, and he will produce for a team within a year or two. After the success of Aminu shouldn’t we just keep grabbing undervalues Dallas assets?
#7 ERIC GORDON
Can he stay healthy? No of course not. But Eric Gordon is not a bad player because of his actual stats and play on the court (had a 22 ppg season, never averaged less than 13 ppg, hit 45% from three in his last healthy season), he gets a bad rap because of the initial expectations set upon him. If you’re expecting/needing him to score 20 ppg, play 30 mpg, and play in 65+ games then good fucking luck. BUT he can be an off the bench scorer at 20 mpg that the Blazers so desperately need. Imagine if we had another C.J.on the bench to come in for C.J., wait WHAT?!?! Dude will go to a team for like 7 million annual and be “6th man of the year” within 2 years.
MICHAEL BEASTLY: Following his career is addicting, and I can’t help but love when he succeeds. Legit the 2nd best player on the Rockets once they signed him (for 306k salary!!!)
TIMOFEY MOZGOV: There are rumors of a secret devastating knee injury/surgery over last summer leading to him to falling out of the rotation this year. Still huge, still relatively athletic, still young, worth a flyer.
GERALD GREEN: Uber-athletic wing who is super fun to watch/get frustrated at. Might have some psychedelic drug problems, but who doesn’t? Will go for undervalue somewhere– likely a smart team.
Alex Knapp is a Portlander living in Brooklyn, New York for the past 7 years.
A filmmaker and actor currently working in HR to pay the bills, Alex is an avid NBA basketball fan who likely has an opinion on every team and every player, seriously – try him.