Blazers Offseason Moves May Guarantee A Championship
The Portland Trail Blazers have really taken advantage of a lucrative and deep free agent market during the 2015 NBA season. They have been on the cusp of a deep playoff run for a few years now, and the moves they have made will finally get them over the hump.
The biggest move they made this summer was dealing Lamarcus Aldridge to the San Antonio Spurs. This brilliant strategic move left a few people scratching their heads but it is obvious as to why they made such a smart roster move. LaMarcus is obviously on the way down in his career, averaging a mere 24 points and 10 rebounds this year. It is extremely easy to develop another guy who can put up these types of numbers and this is clearly the Blazers plan.
With the exiting of such an average player such as Aldridge opens up a starting spot for frontcourt bruiser Meyers Leonard. His daunting physical frame and tough inside play should make the Blazers a force in the paint. Leonard instills fear in opponents eyes that are put on edge by his Justin Beiber look. He averaged an astonishing 6 points last season and used his tenacious style of play to pull down 4 rebounds per game. Clearly, Meyers is the future of the Blazers, doing things on the court that Lamarcus was and never will be capable of.
Each summer, every NBA team tries to make a splash in free agency that will eventually make them one of the elite teams. The Blazers certainly achieved this goal when they inked Al-Farouq Aminu to a four-year contract. Like Leonard, he has posted incredible career numbers that include 7 points and 4 rebounds per game. Aminu was high on the list of many teams during the offseason, and the Blazers were lucky to nab him.
With four starters leaving the Blazers this season, there are definitely holes that the front office needs to fill. In an astonishingly innovative move, the front office will ditch their suits and ties and grab some sneakers and a jersey. Former coach Terry Stotts, who will fill in on the wing for Wesley Matthews, will replace three-point specialist Matthews. Stotts will be the first player-coach since Flint Tropic Jackie Moon. With so many players leaving, the bench also has spots needed to fill. Owner Paul Allen will step in and many NBA analysts pick him as the favorite to win the sixth man of the year award. Although he may have lost a step at 62 years of age, he brings a veteran savvy that not only is valuable on the court but also in the locker room, giving young players the advice that made him successful after going through so many trials and tribulations during his 42 year career.
The Blazers have no doubt made some interesting moves this season, and letting go four-time all star and MVP candidate Aldridge was obviously a much-needed move. The prowess of newcomers like Aminu, Mason Plumlee, and Ed Davis should take all the pressure off Damian Lillard. He can take it easy this year with all these stars the Blazers have added to their roster. Things are really looking up in Rip City, once again making all the perfect roster moves for a possible deep playoff move.