Trail Blazers got a little better this week, not just by introducing their precious first round draft pick, but by trading away Evan Turner for a player who helps in a few small but important ways.
Kent Bazemore from Atlanta did some things for Portland.
Not necessarily in order …
A) Bazemore is a better exterior shooter than Turner. Higher-percentage shots have done more, and on a given night can help to punish defenses that oblige Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
B) An NBA leader told me Monday that trading for Bazemore does not allow free agent Rodney Hood to "stop" Blazers this summer. Bazemore is a sound insurance policy against Hood, which is likely to order more interest than Portland wants to handle. I like the trade because it solved the development problem, move on.
C) The arrival of Bazemore announced that it is the exam time for the 20-year-old guardian Anfernee Simons. Simons gets back-up point guard minutes. I suppose Blazers believes deep in Simons, or they wouldn't have done this step.
D) Bazemore is a good defender and a large wardrobe guy. Keeping up with the evolving Zach Collins and the high-motor defensive-minded draft pick (Nassir Little), which forms is a Portland team that can be super interesting at defense at times next season.
E) When the gardens gave Bazemore a $ 70 million contract, it was historic. It marked the biggest contract an unplayed player had ever negotiated in the NBA. There has been a lot of talk that this deal is a bad contract exchanged for another. But it is a knee warfare response that does not give this trade value. Yes, Turner's $ 70 million deal signed in the summer of 201
F) Degree of trade for Portland … B +.
What did you think of the deal?