Meanwhile the Blazers have moved into the fray with perhaps a more enticing offer. LaFrentz's $12.7 million comes off the books this summer and Outlaw is an upgrade to the Nets situation at the three. As for the Blazers, adding Carter gives them a veteran small forward who has more playoff experience than most of the players on Portland's roster.
The Blazers also have been shopping Channing Frye, who also could be included in a Blazers-Nets trade if New Jersey added on one or two spare parts from the trio of Stromile Swift (expiring $6.2 million contract), Sean Williams (1.52M this season, 1.62M next season) and Hassell ($4.35 million player option for next season).
I'm steadily gaining acceptance of the notion that the Blazers will pull the trigger on a trade before the deadline. With the economy in the tank, a lot of NBA owners are hurting and eager to dump salary. The owner of the Blazers, meanwhile, is busy building himself a space station. That puts Portland in an advantageous position.
Additionally, Raef LaFrentz:
The hottest name at the trade deadline? A guy who hasn't played a game this season: Raef LaFrentz of the Portland Trail Blazers.With D.Miles back on the books, the Blazers will be less flexible than they hoped they would be not too long ago. It makes a whole lot of sense to take advantage of this window of opportunity before it closes. Of course, as young and good as this roster is already, standing pat by passing on a less than optimal deal would be far from a horrible outcome. In short, Kevin Pritchard has a lot of advantages. Enjoy the show.
"If you asked owners in the league who they'd rather have right now, LaFrentz or Stoudemire, I think more than half of them would prefer LaFrentz," one executive told me. "That's how screwed up this thing has been. I guarantee you [Blazers GM] Kevin Pritchard has gotten better offers for LaFrentz than the Suns have gotten for Stoudemire.