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NBA Franchise Power Rankings: #23 – Portland Trailblazers

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LaMarcus Aldridge playing with the Portland Tr...

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Previous rankings:

#30 - Charlotte Bobcats (+ introduction)
#29 - Phoenix Suns
#28 - Denver Nuggets
#27 - Detroit Pistons
#26 - Milwaukee Bucks
#25 - Philadelphia 76ers
#24 - Houston Rockets

#23 – Portland Trailblazers

Total Trade Value Ranking: #23 (Feb. 2011 ranking: #18)

Managerial Grade: C

Financial Grade: C

Best assets: PF/C LaMarcus Aldridge (legitimate all-star), SG Wesley Matthews (legitimate starter), SF Gerald Wallace (older legitimate starter), SF Nic Batum (borderline starter), , 2012 1st, PG Raymond Felton (expiring legitimate starter), RFA C Greg Oden (Mr. Glass), SF Luke Babbit (young, looked like a bust last year), C Marcus Camby (expiring legitimate starter), SG Elliot Williams (young, borderline NBAer), PG Patrick Mills (young, borderline NBAer), PG Armon Johnson (young, borderline NBAer)

Bad contracts: SG Brandon Roy (4 years, 61.7 mil guaranteed)

Draft picks indebted: 2013 1st to Charlotte (top 12 protected through 2015, unprotected in 2016)

Overall synopsis: If this list was done just in mid 2009, after Greg Oden’s rookie season where the team had a marvellous 54 W campaign and Brandon Roy‘s best, borderline MVP candidate season – the Blazers would’ve legitimately been ranked in the top 3 or 5 on the ladder. Perhaps even #1. It takes some seriously spooky forces to drop a team this heavily down from that point. Greg Oden and Brandon Roy’s careers all but being ended by injury, the latter just after a maximum contract had been given out, is that spooky force. What’s left is LaMarcus Aldridge realizing the star potential as a post player he may have always had – But not a ton else. Read the rest of this entry »

NBA franchise power rankings: #30 – Charlotte Bobcats

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Current primary logo (2008–present)

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To fill some of the time during this long lockout, I’m going to rank the 30 NBA franchises’ positions in the league over the next few months. What I mean by position is this: I personally feel the NBA and essentially all professional sports, works like a ladder. You have your bottom 10 teams who are far away from their goals, you have your middle 10 in a better spot than the bottom ones but in a worse one than the top teams, and you have your top 5 and 10 teams, the teams everyone wants to be. The goal is to move up the ladder. Good decisions, good drafts and development, good signings move you up the ladder past the teams who make bad decisions or just get old. I believe every team has a relative position on the ladder.

Last February I introduced the “Trade Value Power Rankings”, hypothesizing that the simplest way to quick glance a team’s position in the league is to look at the added up trade value of their assets – total trade value covers age of players, salary, injury history, how they interact with teammates, future draft picks, and so on. Superstars and all-stars have the most value, high draft picks have a lot, legitimate starters have good value, borderline starters have a little value, bench players have negligible value and bad contracts have negative value. Young players have more value than old players, but only to an extent – A superstar old player likely still have more value than merely good young player. Good teammates have more value than bad teammates, but likewise to an extent – star headcases usually have more value than squeaky clean bench players.

In this, I list total trade value, but I also take into account managerial history, financial situation, their estimated draft pick next year and my personal feelings on how teams cores are set to fit together. Here’s the first entry:

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Written by jr.

July 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm

The Gerald Wallace trade and the importance of big picture thinking

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Gerald WallaceOne of the most universally praised moves of the trade deadline is Portland acquiring Gerald Wallace for two late 1st round picks. Yes, no doubt the Blazers acquired the all-star Wallace at a cheap price. The Bobcats’ desire to clear Wallace’s contract (2 years, 21 million after this season) lowered his trade value to this level. This doesn’t mean it’s a smart move for the Blazers.

The value Wallace brings to a team is in the next 2 and a half seasons. After this he will be both an unrestricted free agent and a veteran over 30. As Wallace’s game is extremely reliant on athleticism, one can expect his production to fall off when his legs do. He’d thus be a great acquisition for a team like Dallas or San Antonio team trying to win a title in the next 3 seasons.

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