The Portland Trail Blazers will enter the 2022-23 season with a lineup quick on measurement, carrying much less total expertise than they’ve over the previous few years. Those gaps are inflicting folks to ask whether or not Portland could be higher off with extra frontcourt assist. One Blazer’s Edge reader has a fast resolution: chase veteran ex-stars LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMarcus Cousins to fill bench spots, beginning in case of emergency. We take up the query in at the moment’s Blazer’s Edge Mailbag.
I see you publish solutions to questions usually so I believed I’d hearth one off right here and see what you thought as to discovering a manner so as to add Aldridge and Boogie to this present lineup.
Size is lacking. They each have measurement.
Aldridge shoots and shoots in the NBA. 12/6 -13/7 final 12 months I consider. Pick and pop with Dame could be superior even for 10/12 min a sport.
Sure the feeling’s could be current with the complete return to the place he began factor however I’m critical…. Vet min for his manufacturing might be a steal.
We all noticed Boogie in Denver. He’s probably the single finest insurance coverage coverage you would add to a Nurk damage or higher but a option to preserve minutes down in the common season and not lose a ton while you sub or get in foul hassle. Cousins can flat out play.
Yes I get they’re getting a tad lengthy in the tooth however for those who assume again to dames rookie season they’d an incredible infusion of vets and youth on that staff.
It does make some instinctive sense. The Blazers may use measurement, depth, and veteran reliability, significantly in the frontcourt. Your thought is not terrible.
For a few causes, it in all probability will not occur.
The Blazers have an affordable mixture of established expertise and youth on the roster proper now, however little expertise collectively, at the least on this mixture.
In addition, most each participant exterior of Damian Lillard is attempting, in a technique or one other, to determine himself. Anfernee Simons might be stepping right into a beginning function for the first time. Jerami Grant is attempting to make the leap from actually good participant to bona fide star, with the proper to minutes and photographs that the standing entails. Jusuf Nurkic desires a constant, large offensive function. Nassir Little is working in direction of the beginning lineup and a brand new contract. Josh Hart is in a possible contract 12 months. Heck, even Lillard is coming off an virtually year-long damage following the worst season of his profession.
Under these situations, the Blazers, individually, are prone to assault the season like a pack of wolves going after grandma’s meatloaf.
This isn’t a foul factor. Competition and ahead momentum, correctly harnessed, can deliver out the finest in a staff and its gamers.
Now let’s throw DeMarcus Cousins and LaMarcus Aldridge into the combine. Aldridge is 37, Cousins 32. Both have been stars and NBA All-Stars. If they play, they are going to be preventing to indicate that they nonetheless belong in reasonably-big roles. Fair sufficient! Their title worth and historical past are the actual causes you needed them and not Random Center X.
Having established themselves at that stage, although, they are not going to have the ability to cede their place and priorities whereas remaining helpful. Trendon Watford and Drew Eubanks—the present frontcourt reserves—are attempting to determine themselves too. Nobody’s going to scream (together with them) if they can not do it but. Watford and Eubanks would be capable of deal with enjoying 5, or zero, minutes off the bench. Aldridge and Cousins wouldn’t. Why are they even right here if they are not going to play?
Bringing these former stars on board, the Blazers could be committing, at some stage, to an immutable block of house in the rotation granted to them, not primarily based on present efficiency, however on historical past and popularity. Meanwhile everybody else, together with Portland’s finest gamers, will nonetheless be anticipated to scrape and scrap for his or her minutes and touches.
That’s a chemistry problem simply ready to occur. If Aldridge and Cousins get X variety of minutes routinely, why not Grant and Simons who’re, at this level of their careers, far superior gamers? The Blazers may in all probability reside with that, however then why not Hart and Little too? Trickle that down the lineup and rapidly gamers are arguing over the proper to play as an alternative of preventing for it.
If you clear up this problem by not utilizing Aldridge and Cousins commonly, then they are not going to be comfortable. You’ll have a few huge-name, big-influence gamers at the finish of the bench, midway fuming, bringing nothing to the desk on the court docket.
In an ideal storm, everybody would combine seamlessly. This new, deeper lineup may work as you envision, for positive. But the Blazers already know that life would not find yourself completely fairly often. Head Coach Chauncey Billups can have sufficient to fret about with out having to combine two former stars whose reputations could also be too large for the state of affairs.
Add in the incontrovertible fact that the Blazers have dedicated to getting youthful, additionally the incontrovertible fact that Aldridge and Cousins mixed would not put Portland a lot nearer to competition than they’re now, and you possibly can see why this in all probability is not the proper match at this level.
This sort of signing would have labored higher a few years in the past, when Lillard and CJ McCollum held unquestioned spots in the staff, and league, hierarchy. Robert Covington, Norman Powell, Trevor Ariza, Larry Nance, Jr., and firm had fewer questions surrounding them, little to show. They had been introduced on to be precisely who they had been. Adding Aldridge and Cousins below these circumstances would have made sense…veterans sliding alongside different established veterans.
This 12 months, I’m guessing the Blazers will get their younger guys some burn, then wait to see how this new lineup gels earlier than figuring out the way to patch holes. If Nurkic or Grant go right down to long-term damage, they’re going to begin casting for replacements then, understanding the actual want. Until then, I do not foresee them chasing extra established names so as to add to the lineup.
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