At the start of the season, there was no question that the Blazers had the most post depth in the League. But then the injuries hit. First Greg Oden fractured the patella in his left knee, and then Joel Przybilla ruptured his right patella tendon. As both of these happened in December, Portland hoped that 2010 would bring them some good news. But after going 5-5 in their last 10 games, and Utah jumping them in the Northwest Conference standings, it’s time to make a move.
According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, the Blazers have set their sites on two of the League’s expendable big men: Washington’s Brendan Haywood and Chicago’s Brad Miller. While neither is clearly a long-term option, their short-term benefits could push Portland over the top in the West.
Starting with Haywood, he is in the last year of his deal making $6 million, so you know his expiring contract makes him Portland’s No. 1 choice with Oden and Przybilla set to return next season. But according to Stein, one source close to the situation said that the talks haven’t progressed when the Wizards wanted both Rudy Fernandez and Nicolas Batum back in return. While the Blazers do have a glut of wings, there’s no way they give up both of these guys for a Band-Aid. Their overseas jersey sales alone probably bring in more.
As for Miller, his expiring deal is worth $12.25 million, so it’s going to be tough for Portland to even piece together enough parts to make a play. Plus, while Miller is a center and has an expiring deal, I might be more inclined to just have Jeff Pendergraph play out the season at the 4/5. If the Blazers are set on Miller, they’d most likely need to bring in a third team – and Darius Miles‘ contract – to get this done.
What do you think? Should the Blazers make a play for Haywood, Miller or another center?
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