Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Do NBA Analysts Watch NBA Games?

It is halftime of Blazers-Cavs and I am currently settling in for what should be a good final 24 minutes of basketball (provided LeBron's ankle is okay). I do have a question though: do NBA analysts actually watch the sport that they presume to cover?

I've heard four different people in the last hour say that Portland is crazy to make this reported Jason Kidd trade because they are giving up "their entire team" and "an amazing young talent in Travis Outlaw" in exchange for "nothing." What? As I've mentioned before, I love Outlaw, but Devin Harris is better than he is. A top flight point guard who is 24 years old and has a decent contract has far more value than three reserves. Portland has the chance to add the missing piece for a misfit backup point guard (Jack), a reserve forward who will hardly play next year (Frye), and an admittedly valuable and exciting reserve combo forward (Outlaw). It's not like they're trading Roy here!

Honestly, I'm not sure which sentiment is more confusing: that the Blazers are giving up a bunch of key guys or that Harris isn't worth anything. All of these ESPN characters seem convinced that both facts are true. Have they seen a Mavericks game this year? Did they not watch Harris decimate the Suns and Spurs in the 2006 Playoffs?

I give up.

[Update: According to this piece by ESPN's Marc Stein, the deal might be dying on the table. Too bad. Note also though that Dallas' Brandon Bass was rumored to be going to Portland in addition to Harris. To me, that makes it even more attractive for the Blazers as they would be getting a young, talented big to fill the hole left by Frye and Outlaw. Additionally, I found the last bit in the article interesting - Stein quotes a source regarding the potential damage of lingering trade speculation. We definitely saw that tonight with the Blazers. Outlaw had some nice moments and hit a big jumper late, but Frye was out to lunch and Jack played even worse than normal. This Portland team typically plays with a poise beyond their years, but tonight the trade rumors really seemed to shake them.]

[Update: More madness. J.A. Adande of the Leader wondered aloud about a deal between Portland the Sixers that would send Steve Blake, Outlaw, and Frye to Philly for Andre Miller. This is somehow a better deal for the Blazers? Not only is Blake better than Jack (making the ransom higher), but Miller is older than Harris, worse than Harris (especially as a catch and shoot player, which they need next to Roy), and has a terrible contract. Good call! I especially love the fact that he uses Miller's "slightly better stats" as the justification. All of this takes me back to my original question: do these guys watch the games? I am honestly starting to wonder if anyone has seen Harris play? Does he really exist or is this highly skilled point guard with blinding quickness perform only in my imagination?]


Jack said...

I guess you are the one that needs to watch more games. Outlaw has been one of the most clutch players for them (he beat griz n hawks w/last shots) devin harris is fine, but not quite surprisingly improved or breaks out,I wouldn't give up outlaw n jack for harris if I were portland

Anonymous said...

You can't judge Harris by his stats. Because the Mavs have Terry, he doesn't play huge minutes. But he's a really good point guard. Jack is horrible. It comes down to Harris our Outlaw - a tough call, but I agree with the author that point guards are inherintly more valuable.

Brandon said...

Tough loss for your Blazers tonight. Not sure how no one helps on Lebron when everyone knows he's going to come barreling down the lane.

howlingfantods said...

I've been arguing pro-Harris on this trade too but I've been getting shouted down by fans in various forums. All three of our guys is a bit much, though. If they throw Bass in, I think it's easier to go for it. Harris + Bass for Trout + Frye + Jack? Not bad, not bad.

Good to see you posting again, btw. I was pretty bummed when I thought this blog had died.