A lot of people here in Portland are not thrilled with the upcoming NBA season. I can’t say I blame them either. Hope and expectations were running high the last few years, and the results were very disappointing. Then in one summer, four out of five starters are gone, and now there’s talk of Anthony Bennett joining a group of guys most fans haven’t heard of or could care less about.
Now Bennett is a former No. 1 overall pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers, and obviously it didn’t work out for him in the Mistake on the Lake. He was involved in the three team deal that sent fellow Canadian to Minnesota, and now will be placed on waivers after the Timberwolves bought out his current deal. I for one would welcome it for a couple reasons.
First of all the chances of the Blazers being good this year are slim. So slim in fact they are practically nil, unless Mason Plumlee becomes the second coming of Hakeem Olajuwon, but I doubt it. Therefore, stocking your team with guys looking to prove themselves on short term deals is smart. Sign Anthony Bennett to a one-year deal, and make sure he knows this is his chance for a big contract, then let the Magic overpay him next July.
Second, the NBA salary cap is due for a huge increase once that new TV deal kicks in. If you have a bunch of guys on short term deals, you are poised to roll into doubled cap space with no long-term, crippling contracts on the books. Oh and you also have a premier PG, and most likely a good, young supporting cast from two years of high draft picks.
The third reason is none of the guys who left via Free Agency were worth what they got paid. I’m not saying Wesley Mathews, Robin Lopez and Lamarcus Aldridge are crap, but they aren’t worth keeping around at the paychecks they are getting now. It would have been great to keep all three, but how many times has a role player (Aldridge excluded) received a huge payday and either did not increase production or even regressed (see Gerald Wallace)?
Sure the next couple years won’t be like the last few, but its been since 1977 since they won a championship, and 1990 since they were even in the Finals. Having multiple bloated contracts of role players is not how a team wins a championship, so rebuild away! Plus they probably won’t win another one until 2077 anyway, so who cares?