NBA Roundtable

Blazers Trade Bayless

In Trade Talk on October 24, 2010 at 5:32 am

ESPN reports

The Portland Trail Blazers have found a trade to create some extra roster room, agreeing Saturday to deal guard Jerryd Bayless to the New Orleans Hornets for a conditional future first-round pick.

The Portland Oregonian reported that the 2011 first-round pick that the Blazers will receive from New Orleans is protected 1-to-7 in the 2011 draft and 1-to-8 in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Blazers will thus take ownership of the pick in the June draft as long as it is No. 8 or lower.

LinkHollinger’s analysis


Smart move by Portland. Bayless has struggled mightily for the Blazers and showed a lack of development in his two years there. The chances of him coming good are minimal.

The first round pick is the more valuable asset. Nicely played.

Draft Pick

Strong likelihood that the Hornets miss the playoffs again next season while finishing as one of the top teams to fail to make the playoffs meaning a high lottery pick. Something in the 11-14th range.

So, there is a very good chance that Portland will have a pick in that ball park next summer to add to their roster.

Jerryd Bayless

A slightly inefficient scoring point guard who cannot run an offense, is a limited passer/playmaker, is a so-so rebounder and is at best an average defensive player. Very good athlete but lacks length.

Very good penetrator who can get to the rim, is a solid finisher and gets to the free throw line very well (plus hits his FTs). Poor shooter from distance in the pros (eFG% of 39% on jump shots) in contrast to college days (hope for improvement?). Explosive scorer, highly focused on posting large scoring numbers.

In summation, Bayless is a one-dimensional scorer with a dodgy jump shot and an inability to run an offense who plays average defense. He uses a large number of possessions for someone who adds so little to a team overall.

Edit — Bayless’ Potential

Bayless fulfilling his potential would be turning his weak jump shot into a very good weapon + learning to run an offense at an adequate level. That addition to his arsenal would make him a very efficient 20ppg threat with average defense. The result being a very effective scoring PG.

Bayless was a very good shooter in college but he has struggled badly since joining the pros. After two years in the pros where he played for a top coach and in a great situation for a player with his skill-set (read: Brandon Roy), and given his performance to date … I think the chances of Bayless becoming this player are very slim.

While I am not optimistic about him reaching the ceiling I thought he had coming out of college, I do think Bayless will continue to improve as a shooter (becoming serviceable to average) and that that improvement (along with some improvement as a floor general) will solidify him as a quality rotation player. Most likely as a scoring change of pace backup PG and possibly some short stints as a starter on a team that is short of firepower or talent at the point.

Third Wasted Asset

This is the third highly valuable asset that the New Orleans Hornets have thrown away, wasted, this summer:

  • Their 2010 lottery pick, the 11th pick, which became Cole Aldrich.
  • Traded Darren Collison (19ppg and 8apg as a starter) for role player Trevor Ariza
  • Their 2011 lottery pick, likely in the 11-14th range, for a borderline rotation player (Bayless).

That is the difference between being able to turn around a program or not.

The mismanagement of the Hornets this summer has made it incredibly likely that Chris Paul force his way out of the club in the next 12-24 months.

  1. Hey Dave, random Blazer-related question assuming that there is no lockout next season and the salary cap structure stays the same.

    Say Oden this season plays around 60 games, and averages 12 points, 9 boards and 1.5 blocks and is a good defensive player who gets into foul trouble easily. Do you think the Blazers would pick up his option (8 million) given his injury past and the fact that it pushes them into luxury tax territory? If not, would Oden be the perfect complement for a player like Bargnani, and would a team like the Raptors be wise to offer him a contract. If so, what do you think would be reasonable?

    I know theres a ton of hypotheticals, but I find the impending Oden situation fascinating and curious what the Blazers will do.

  2. Hey Dino Gunners,

    Blazers definitely pick up Oden’s option in that circumstance.

    The only way they don’t is if Oden has another injury plagued season and/or his performance declines hugely from where it was last season.

    His performance last season was worth more than $8 million. As would his performance in a 12/9 type campaign. It’ll be an easy decision.

    It is extremely unlikely that the Blazers let Greg Oden leave next summer.

    It would take a near max contract for Portland to even consider letting Oden leave (at 12/9). A $70+ million five year type figure. Even then, you wouldn’t be sure of landing him. Portland would still be more likely to match an offer like that than not. A max contract ($80mil /5 years) could very well be necessary.

    Edit: Sorry, my mistake — under any and all circumstances, the Blazers make Greg Oden that $8 million qualifying offer. There is no chance that they do not. He will be a restricted free agent this summer.

    The only way Portland do not match a large offer ($60 million five years) is if Oden has another injury plagued campaign or if his play suffers drastically. It will take $70+ million to make Portland blink.

  3. Even at $70+ million, five year type deal considering the depth of Paul Allen’s checkbook, why wouldn’t Portland match no matter the offer? Looking back at the Jail Blazers era, paying a Hefty luxury tax bill hasn’t stopped him before.

    But saying this, could there be away of structuring a contract to Oden to discourage Portland from matching a potential offer?
    Like a poison pill written in that you see in the NFL or front loading the contract.
    Maybe a signing bonus like what Portland did themselves with signing Millsap and Matthews to tenders the past two off seasons?

  4. Hey Simon Says,

    I’d Match Any Offer

    I think the Blazers should match a maximum contract offer to Greg Oden.

    They have no way of replacing his talent if he leaves. Their only hope, or at least their best hope, of winning a title is with Greg Oden on their roster.

    I also think Oden was hugely effective last year in the minutes he played. One of the top defensive centers in the league and for my money the best rebounder in the league. Plus a solid offensive threat.

    That type of contribution is very valuable … especially if he can up his minutes to 30-33 minutes a game down the road (worth a max contract in that circumstance, worth $10-11 million or so in 24-26 minutes a night).

    Not wholly convinced the Blazers feel the same way though.


    I get the impression that Portland likes Oden’s current game but I think they feel there should be significant potential and improvement to Oden’s game for him to be worth a max or near max contract … and that they’d be paying for that potential in a new contract.

    Depending on how happy Portland are with Oden’s progression this year, that could effect their outlook considerably in either direction (positive or negative).

    Injuries and Fear

    I reckon they’d happily be willing to pay $10 million a year for Oden on a three year deal … without any hesitation … but committing to a $14-15 million per annum over five years will worry them with his injury history. They are legitimately frightened by his injuries.

    Portland has had bad luck with injuries in the past with Bill Walton and Sam Bowie … and they are just coming off an injury plagued season with growing concerns about Brandon Roy’s knees.

    While they are worried about the injuries … they are also terrified of passing on Oden and then seeing him come good on another team.

    It could easily become a case of which fear is greater.

    Another campaign that is ended by injuries prematurely, medium term (1-2 month injury), even if Oden is relatively healthy during the season will pile onto the situation.

    Front Loading Contract

    There are two main ways to make a contract more cumbersome:

    (1) Front load the contract. By that, I mean have a descending contract where they first year is the highest paid year of the contract with it decreasing each season … in contrast to the usual ascending contracts you find in the NBA where contracts increase year after year.

    Greg Oden — not possible on a contract of Oden’s size for a player as inexperienced as he is. That maximum starting pay is $12.5 or $13 million, I forget exactly what but that’s the ball park, which over five years is only $60-65 million. If decreasing each year, it would be more like $50-55 million.

    In order to give Oden his $70-80 million contract, it has to be an ascending contract.

    (2) A signing on bonus

    This means that part of your paycheck is paid up front up. This can be up to 20% of the total value of your deal if you are an unrestricted FA or 17.5% if a restricted free agent (Greg Oden).

    So you get paid more cash up front and less down the road. Similar overall figure. The way it works for cap purposes is that the signing on bonus is spread out proportionally over the life of the contract (luxury tax purposes).

    In Oden’s case, a $70-80 million offer would have a signing on bonus of about $12.25 to $14.5 million.

    As an example, the Denver Nuggets did this years ago when they signed Kenyon Martin from the NJ Nets to a maximum contract.

    A signing on bonus doesn’t change much for a team … it just forces the ownership to come up with a lot of cash in a hurry (7 days after contract signing? I think). Most owners can get that money from a bank fairly easily and it really isn’t that significant a disincentive. For a man of Paul Allen’s wealth, it would be no problem to come up with the cash.

    (3) There is a third way but again this isn’t overly cumbersome. You can pay a player his contract over different periods over the season. The least number of payments is two, you get one payment in the summer and one at midseason. Again, same amount of money that goes out but you need a big dollop of it in one go. That summer money on top of the signing on bonus would force Portland to pay $18-22 million that summer.

    They’d have to pay Oden that money anyway if they matched the offer sheet but they’d need that to pay that right away. A nuisance.


    Generally speaking, the second and third options have very little to no effect when determining whether it’s worth re-signing a player or not. Very rarely do they or would they change a team’s mind over whether to match the offer or not.

    The first option can be a difference maker … but you normally only see that with role players rather than with star talent due to the smaller amounts in their contracts and relative added cost to front loading the contract + only in situations where a team has luxury tax problems and is wary of adding all those extra dollars to their bill.

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