NBA Roundtable

Camby To Portland

In Trade Talk on February 16, 2010 at 2:30 am

Not finalized yet but appearantly it’s close to the dotted line. ESPN reports

Update: It’s official now. Portland also included $1.5 million in cash considerations.

The Los Angeles Clippers were in discussions to trade forward-center Marcus Camby to the Portland Trail Blazers for Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher.

One source close to the situation initially said that the sides had agreed on the deal, but multiple sources later said that the deal was close but not completed. A Clippers source told ESPNLosAngeles.com that the talks were “substantive,” while another source told Bucher that the negotiations were on the “goal line” but awaiting owner approval before a trade call with the league is scheduled.

Los Angeles Clippers

I don’t understand why the Clippers made this trade. They received two role players, one of whom is still injured, to replace a key cog in their machine. Both players are expiring contracts, and unrestricted free agents this summer, with no guarantee of staying with the Clippers.

Wouldn’t a first round pick + expiring contracts been more useful? Acquiring at least one long term asset in the deal?

It’s not like the Clips are making a playoff run either. They’re 10 games under .500 while the 9th seed is three games over. That’s a huge margin and one the Clippers are incapable of making up.

The Players

Steve Blake will be an excellent backup point guard for the Clippers. That gives the Clippers a very strong three man backcourt with Baron Davis, Eric Gordon and Steve Blake.

Travis Outlaw is currently injured. Outlaw is due back sometime in the middle of March. So they’ll be another month without him and will perhaps get one month of Outlaw on the court whilst he’s shaking off the rust from a long term injury. If healthy enough to play at a reasonable level, Outlaw gives them solid play at both forward spots.

As for the remainder of their roster, the Clippers suddenly have a hole in their big man rotation. No Camby means increased minutes for Craig Smith and DeAndre Jordan. It will likely be Smith who starts. Brian Skinner will likely get some playing too.

It also means a larger amount of defensive + rebounding responsibilities will fall on Chris Kaman’s shoulders, so he’s likely to see a spike in his statistics.

As for the small forward position, the Clippers have placed Al Thornton on the trading block. He will continue to get minutes in the interim and is more likely to stay than leave due to his low trade value. Rasual Butler will continue in his starting role and is easily the Clippers best wing player. They also have Mardy Collins and Ricky Davis to call upon.

  • Guards — Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Steve Blake … Sebastian Telfair, Mardy Collisn
  • Wings — Rasual Butler, Al Thornton … Ricky Davis, Mardy Collins
  • Big Men — Chris Kaman, Craig Smith, DeAndre Jordan, Brian Skinner

A very weak team outside of their stellar backcourt.

Portland Trailblazers

An interesting move that should help them for the rest of the season. Camby will be able to start at center and give the Blazers 30-33 good minutes every night. He’ll play solid defense and do an very good-to-excellent job rebounding the ball while knowing his place offensively.

It’s a little disappointing to see Steve Blake and Travis Outlaw go. Blake was an excellent floor general for Portland and a great complement to Brandon Roy’s game. I would have liked to have seen him stay there for a few more years. Likewise, Travis Outlaw gave the Blazers a change of style/tempo bench player as an athletic perimeter orientated power forward. He was a walking matchup problem for the opposition and gave the Blazers valuable flexibility.

I’m guessing Portland is planning on using Nicolas Batum more in that power forward role. Partially due to the loss of Outlaw and partially due to the lack of available minutes on the minutes on the wing.

Andre Miller will now take full leadership of the point guard role for the Blazers. I’m not happy about that decision. I think Portland is basing their decision on inaccurate information. On how well Miller has played while Portland has been short handed, where Miller has been allowed to play a different role than the one needed from him next season when Portland gets healthy again. This is still a major question mark for Portland. As is Jerryd Bayless who Nate McMillan prefers to use in a shooting guard role offensively.

So, suddenly the point guard position has come under question for Portland next season.

Marcus Camby should be good enough to push Portland into the playoffs so long as Brandon Roy gets back soon and the rest of the squad stays healthy. Roy + Aldridge + Miller + Camby is a solid foundation. Then players like Webster + Batum + Bayless + Rudy. And also Juwan Howard and Jeff Pendergraph. Yes, the Blazers should definitely hang on and make the playoffs as a consequence of this trade.

Conclusion

A very good trade for Portland and a very bad one for the Clippers.

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