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Andre Miller trade value could turn into draft pick: Fan’s view
An Andre Miller(notes) trade could be on the horizon as the Portland Trail Blazers look to improve their position in the 2011 NBA Draft. It seems like something that would be a best case scenario though, and might just be the pipe dream of a sports writer out of Portland, Oregon.
According to Kerry Eggers of The Portland Tribune, he believes that Blazers general manager Rich Cho is going to try and move up into the lottery part of the draft (top 14 pick). It's an interesting theory, and one which could certainly help the franchise net one of the good rookies that will be coming out of college this year. Right now the Blazers have the No. 21 selection in the first round, but moving up would definitely provide a better chance at a phenom.
In regard to the players that Portland could actually offer up in a trade, it is Andre Miller that keeps popping up in trade rumors. This is because he has a $7.8 million salary for the 2011-12 season that is not guaranteed. If a team were to trade for him, they could waive him before June 29 and not have to pay it. It's a weird caveat to his contract, and that might make him a valuable asset in any trade. He also has value as one of the better veteran point guards in the NBA, so it's too early to discount what he could bring to a team.
Hypothetically, the Blazers could head into next season with an almost identical roster to the one that they ended the 2010-11 season with. Only Patty Mills(notes) and Chris Johnson(notes) don't have a contract offer, and Greg Oden(notes) is going to get a qualifying offer from the team. Another team could still offer Oden a nice contract, but the Blazers would have the opportunity to match it. Making changes requires trading assets, and in addition to Miller, the Blazers might be willing to part with someone like Rudy Fernandez(notes).
There is only going to be a short window for transactions right before the NBA Draft, and then the possible NBA lockout could completely shut things down. After the draft they won't be able to trade Miller at the same high value that he presents right now, but maybe Eggers is wrong in his assumption that the Blazers are actually looking to move up the draft. There will still be some talent available at No. 21, and maybe the Blazers could take Klay Thompson from the Washington State Cougars to help improve the offense off the bench.
Will the Blazers move Miller? It might help them get younger and come away with a much-needed big man to come off the bench. Or maybe the Blazers are still banking on Oden coming back healthy, and a trade would be used to find another offensive weapon.
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*Ryan is a Northwest bred sports fan that has been a Portland Trail Blazers fan for years. He doesn't miss a game, and has high hopes that the Blazers can improve their roster during the offseason and come back even better in the 2011-12 NBA season.
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