Controversial stance? Maybe.
News broke this morning that the Orlando Magic were *this close* to trading Dwight Howard to the New Jersey Nets via a three team trade that involved the Portland Trail Blazers.
I know, I know, say what?!? It seems random the Blazers became involved in that mess, even more surprising that Gerald Wallace was the player to be traded and Portland would get future picks in return.
There was an almost visceral fan reaction to the news this morning, too. Blazer fans were (understandably) upset that the team would dump one of the decent players on this team for picks. But from the management's perspective, it makes perfect sense.
Stay with me, you see, the word "rebuild" has been almost taboo. It has been murmured by some in media circles, and was briefly questioned as a possibility by head coach Nate McMillan, but for the most part, it's been a topic left untouched. But with the news the Blazers were willing to give up Gerald Wallace for draft picks, it is clear the team is at least playing with the possibility of a rebuild. What's more, Wallace could opt out next year and play the market, meaning he's gone and the Blazers get nothing. Finally, the draft next year is projected to be the best in years.
To me, that's not a bad thing.
Starting over is never fun, I get that. But this team has a limited future with this group , and I'm not really even talking about the subtraction of Roy and (probably) Oden. The Blazers have a lot of players eating up cap space that are aging quickly, Gerald Wallace being one of them. When you're faced with the prospect of a team that's still starting 400 year old Camby at 10 million for the season, you can't help but think, "is this still a good plan?"
I just wish the Blazers would rebuild the right way. Blow this mug up, dump the bloated contracts, turn Wesley Matthews and Armon Johnson (yes, I went there) into money and future picks. Keep Batum and Aldridge, build around them, and most important of all, start immediately.
In the end, the Wallace-for-picks idea went down the toilet as the Magic decided they're not actually interested in trading Howard. Fine. I just wish it wouldn't take big blockbuster trades to signal the Blazers could in fact be thinking straight for once and are ready to begin the rebuilding process.