Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Z-Bo Question

Winning the number 1 pick in the draft did big things for the Trade Zach Movement (I've spent a lot of time trying to convince people that this is in fact a movement, people seem to like joining movements). Finally, more fans seem in favor of sending Zach somewhere else and allowing our young core to develop. So the question is, whats the best option?

Some speculate a trade to Chicago, some hope for a kind of deal for Rashard Lewis. Rashard would probably come with a contract similar to Zach’s (very long, very expensive), I’m not really sure Portland tying up that much cash long term would be wise when they will have to re-sign these young stars in a couple years.

I’m for using Zach as a means to increase financial flexibility in the future. After all, when Portland is fighting to get over the hump and become a real championship level team (wow, I’m all giddy now), wouldn’t it be nice to have that leeway to sign a good complimentary free agent?

Also, with Oden or Durant on the way, Portland doesn’t really need Zach’s talent anymore, in fact Zach’s offensive style (holding the ball until it becomes flat, then shooting) could stifle the development of such players.

Which is why I’m in the camp of trading Zach for some expiring contracts. You could get some vets that are good character guys and hardworkers who could come off the books soon. It might sound odd, and Portland would very likely be giving up the best player in the deal. I think its worth it. Also, Zach is good enough to warrant an overpaid vet and a decent draft pick(s!), either this year or in the future.

You can bet I was pumped for the latest rumor I saw pop on hoopshype.com, Z-Bo for Theo Ratliff and Boston's number five pick (that pick speculated to be in order to secure Conley, I'm not so sure). Theo probably wouldn't be too happy, but he would be a professional (like he was during his first stint in Portland) who sets an example for the younger guys. Not only does Ratfliff makes slightly less than Randolph on a yearly basis, he only has two seasons remaining as opposed to Zach's five. Its also very possible that Danny Ainge is a very desperate man at this point, and might be looking to bite on a big deal. Zach and Pierce could theoretically be pretty lethal, maybe even enough to overlook what the tandem could accomplish off the court.

Of course this is all speculation, but its the kind that sounds very, very good. Will it happen? Will something better come along? Would this deal just be carried out in order to set up another crazy Pritchardizing of the league?

In Kevin Pritchard we trust.

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