All posts by Chris Cabrera

About Chris Cabrera

Avid lover of Popcorn and on his off time he is the CDO of Barry's Ticket Service. Buddhist by day and Buddhist by night, follower of the Chaos Theory.

Chance to win LA Clippers tickets

NBA Ticket Giveaway Time!

WIN FREE TICKETS TO A CLIPPERS GAME!

It’s (finally) time to give away some NBA tickets. If you’re a keen Clippers fan, or general all-round NBA enthusiast, then you’ll love this chance to show off your skills.

Everyone thinks they know – and have – what it takes to be a phenomenal NBA team General Manager. Well, now it’s your chance to prove it, once and for all! With a budget of $70 million, YOU need to come up with the best NBA team you can assemble with the money and let us know who you put in which position and a very brief explanation of why. If you come up with the goods, we’ll gladly give you the free LA Clippers tickets. You’ll also get bonus points if you share our infographic about the highest paid players in the game for 2015-16!

So, get your head in the game and give us some slam-dunkin’ team results!

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Highest Paid NBA Players

Who Are The Highest Paid NBA Players

This week, we bring you our NBA 2015-2016 Infographic!

During the off season we have season we have heard of many rumours of trade-offs and contract negotiations of key NBA basketball players. If you missed out on this, don’t fret – check out our infographic below! There, you’ll find a great visual representation of the confirmed top 10 highest paid players and and their career earnings to date.  This season will be  a record year for the salary cap, with the 2016-17 season looking to jump even more.

The Highest Paid NBA Players

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If you don’t want to miss another second of the action, Barry’s offers MLB season tickets that will cater towards all budgets. Check them out here now.

NBA Games of the 2015-16 Season You Must Not Miss

The schedule for the 2015-16 NBA  regular season was released a few days ago and it is quite obvious that the league officials have done everything in their power to make the schedules of individual teams much more manageable and humane than past ones. Of course, there will always be those who are not happy, but that is simply the reality of creating a schedule which includes 30 teams playing 82 games in a season.

Now that the schedule is out, we can also find out when certain games will take places – matchups that will have that something special going for them and that will be the highlights of the regular season. These are the games we will be looking at today.

 

New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors – October, 27

Some say that the Cavs – Bulls is the best game of the first night of the 2015-16 NBA Season, but we believe that it is the Pelicans at Warriors game that you should tune in to. For one, we want to see how the last season’s champs Warriors are looking. In addition to that, we all want to see how good Anthony Davis got during the off-season. Will he be able to single-handedly demolish the Champs?

 

San Antonio Spurs  at Oklahoma City Thunder – October, 28

Durant is back and this is his first game in months. The dynamic in the Thunder camp has changed and we all want to see how the new and improved Russell Westbrook will handle Durant’s return to team. Also, we are so psyched to see the new Spurs. It promises to be one hell of a game.

 

Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers – October, 29

DeAndre Jordan slighted the Mavs big time during this off-season and he is probably glad that the first meeting of the two teams is going down in LA. Still, we are pretty sure that the Mavs will be coming over mad and crazy and it will make for a spectacular game.

 

Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks – October, 29

The Hawks will probably dismantle the Knicks but we still want to see how the home crowd will welcome Kristaps Porzingis. Here’s hoping they don’t boo him.

 

Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors – November, 4

Everyone loves Clips vs Warriors matchups. They are always energized, high-powered and there is no shortage of amazing moves. On November 4th, we will also want to see if Clippers are good enough to stand up to the Warriors this season.

 

Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks – November, 11

DeAndre is coming to Texas.

 

Cleveland Cavaliers at Golden State Warriors – December, 25

It’s Christmas time and we got last season’s finalists playing in California. It should be a real Christmas treat, with Cavs hopefully heathier than they were in the Finals last year. This is a game that might give us an insight into whether Cavs have a better chance this season.

The Top 14 NBA Draft Picks Of All Time

photo credit: Flickr / zennie62originaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 640height 329B: Kobe BryantKobe fell even further than Jordan in the 1996 NBA draft. He was picked by Charlotte hornets at #13. He was traded on draft day to Los Angeles Lakers with whom he won 5 championships and earned 15 All-Star selections.

photo credit: Wikimediaoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 1075height 1024C: Karl MaloneKarl Malone also slipped to the 13th spot, in 1985. Dallas Mavericks promised to take him with their #8 pick, but it wasn’t until Utah Jazz drafted him that he found a home in the NBA. Malone became the second best scorer in history of NBA, with 14 All-Star selections and 2 MVP of the regular season awards.

photo credit: nbaramblings.comoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 640height 360D: Larry BirdLarry Bird was first drafted in 1978 but decided to stay in college another year to play Magic Johnson for another title. Boston Celtics drafted him at #6 that year and they managed to retain the rights till 1979 when Bird actually entered the league. Once there, he led the Celtics to three titles, one of which was in his first season.

photo credit: Flickr / Kip-koechoriginaldate 10/15/2010 6:57:13 PMheight 324width 503orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS2 E: Joe DumarsJoe Dumars was one of the core parts of the 1980s Detroit Pistons Bad Boys who won two titles, while also being a 6 time All-Star and a Finals MVP in 1989 when Pistons swept Lakers and he averaged 27.3 points in the four games. How low he slipped in the 1985 draft? To number 18. Yes, Dumars slipped to #18.

photo credit: Otto Greule Jr / Getty Imagesoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 1200height 900F: Tony ParkerTony Parker almost slipped out of the first round at the 2001 draft until Greg Poppovich decided to draft a 19-year old kid from France. He turned out to be the perfect piece for the new big three he was building, together with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. And really, Tony was an integral part of four of Spurs’ titles also earning one Finals MVP award.

photo credit: sportsblog.comoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 3834height 2556G: Manu GinobiliManu Ginobili not only fell out of the first round in the 1999 Draft, but he almost fell out of the second round as well. Greg Poppovich once again showed his prowess and drafted Manu at #57. He stayed with the Spurs ever since and contributed to 4 titles, while also earning one award for the Sixth Man of the Year.

photo credit: Wikimediaoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 800height 597H: Willis ReedWillis Reed was a special kind of player who used his force, his strength and his will to stand up to the likes of Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He was the crucial part of New York Knicks’ two titles and perhaps the most beloved athlete in NYC history. Willis was picked 8th at the 1964 NBA draft, making him one of the best steals ever.

photo credit: Wikimediaoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 857height 598I: Clyde DrexlerClyde the Glide was a star at Houston, but for some reason, he fell as low as #14 at the 1983 draft. He was picked by the Portland Trailblazers and he became a franchise player. He turned out to be a 10 times All-Star while winning a single championship, albeit with Houston Rockets.

photo credit: rantsports.comoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 640height 360J: Stephen CurryIn 2015, Stephen Curry proved to everyone that he is a real star capable of leading his team to a championship. It also became obvious that he is one of the greatest shooters that have ever played the game. Still, in 2009, the Warriors were able to get him even though they only picked at #7.

photo credit: Wikimediaflash 16cameramake Canonheight 2314camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop Cameoriginaldate 2/25/2015 3:00:25 AMwidth 3015cameramodel Canon EOS-1D XK: John StocktonJohn Stockton played for Utah Jazz for 19 seasons and he missed 22 games in his career. In his entire career. He led the Jazz to playoffs every single year for those 19 years and he had more assists and steals in his career than anyone else. And it isn’t looking like anyone will match those numbers. In 1984, he was picked at #16.

photo credit: saltcityhoops.comoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 576height 324L: Dirk NowitzkiDirk Nowitzki was picked at #9 in the 1998 draft and many wondered why Dallas Mavericks chose him that high actually. Don Nelson always knew what he was doing and he struck gold with the 7’0” German. Nowitzki became a regular All-Star and he led the Mavs to two finals, winning one.

photo credit: Flickr / keithallisonoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 1024height 683M: Sam JonesWe are going way back with this one, more precisely to 1957 when Sam Jones was picked at #8 by the Boston Celtics. He became an important part of the first Celtics Dynasty, always coming through when the team needed him most. Jones won 10 titles with the Celtics. Yes, 10 titles.

photo credit: Dick Raphael/NBAE / Getty Imagesoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 800height 450N: Denis JohnsonSeattle Supersonics drafted Dennis Johnson with their 29th pick in 1976 (which was then a second round pick). In 1979, he led them to a title and won the Finals MVP. In 1983, Red Auerbach brought DJ to Boston where he would win two more titles and serve as a Magic Johnson-stopper.

photo credit: ivanjordanproductions.weebly.comoriginaldate 1/1/0001 6:00:00 AMwidth 576height 324

Best NBA Dunks

7 Of The Best Slam Dunks Of All Time

There is nothing better and more exciting in basketball than a great dunk. What we have for you here is a list of the best slam dunks in the history of the game. Keep in mind that these will only be in-game dunks, meaning no slams from dunk contests.

So, sit back, relax and enjoy these monster dunks!

 

  1. Vince Carter Dunks over Frederic Weis

If this particular dunk had happened in the NBA, it would have easily topped our list. Unfortunately for Vince, he did this at the Olympics. In order to accomplish this one, Vince Carter jumps over a French center called Frederic Weis, who happens to be 7’2”. He literally jumps over him. Like, over his head.

 

  1. Darryl Dawkins Breaks Backboard

Darryl Dawkins was a very special kind of guy whose nickname Chocolate Thunder originates from none other than Stevie Wonder. He was famous for his insane dunks and one time, in 1979, he destroyed two backboards in the span of three weeks. We chose the second one because he not only destroys the backboard, but also rips the rim out of it. They changed the construction of backboards because of this dunk.

 

  1. John Starks Exacts Revenge on Bulls

John Starks was not exactly successful against the Bulls in the 90s. Michael Jordan and the rest of the Bulls regularly beat Starks’ Knicks in the playoffs, but this one time, in 1993, John had his revenge. He storms down the right side of the court and dunks on Horace Grant in a spectacular fashion. Not even Jordan manages to block him this time. Madison Square Garden goes berserk!

 

  1. Shawn Kemp Over Lister

Shawn Kemp was one of the best in-game dunkers of all time. We had to choose one of his dunks and we decided on the most brutal poster dunk – the one on Alton Lister from the 1992 playoffs. The Rain Man tomahawks Lister and then does the famous finger-point which would get him a dozen technical fouls these days. Also, you gotta love the reaction of the crowd.

 

  1. Jordan Spins and Dunks

Michael Jordan regularly led the Bulls over the Knicks in the 1990s and this dunk of his perhaps best summarizes how he used to demolish them. He is doubled and it seems he has nowhere to go up there in the left corner. He then does the most beautiful spin, gets rid of his defenders and leaps. Patrick Ewing tries to block him and fails miserably.

 

  1. Clyde Glides

Clyde Drexler got the nickname Glide while still in college and this dunk against the Lakers is the perfect example of why he got the name. The dunk truly reveals itself as one of the best ever in the replay when the camera films Clyde from the side. It is just unbelievable how he flies. He literally glides in the air.

 

  1. Dr. J Pure Beauty

It is quite simply the best in-game dunk of all time. Dr. J saves the tipped ball mid-court and then races to the basket, with Michael Cooper tailing him (Coop being an All-Defense player, btw). Dr. J never touches the ball with his left hand, rocks the cradle and then slams it home in a way that was never replicated. The crowd erupts. Pure beauty of basketball.

NBA Player Comparison: LeBron James Vs. Michael Jordan

One of the most heatedly debated issues among NBA fans over the last few years has been whether LeBron James is good enough to challenge Michael Jordan for the title of the best NBA player of all time. Some people believe that King James is nowhere near Air Jordan while others think that his performances and numbers warrant a closer inspection.

 

In any case, we have decided to take a closer look into the whole LeBron vs. Michael thing and give our opinion on whether there is even point in comparing them.

 

The Numbers

As always, it is best to start with the quantifiable, i.e. the numbers. The first number we have to look at are the championships up to this point, Jordan leads convincingly, with 6 championships to LeBron’s 2. Jordan was also the league MVP 5 times while LeBron earned that recognition 4 times. Michael earned 14 All-Star Game call-ups and we are sure that LeBron will match that number given time (he already has 9).

There are other numbers that are also important. Like points per game averages, where Jordan leads 30.1 to 27.5. LeBron, on the other hand, has the upper hand when it comes to assists and rebounds per game – 6.9 apg to Jordan’s 5.3 and 7.3 rpg to Jordan’s 6.2. Their field goal and 3-point percentages are almost identical, with Jordan having better free throw percentage – 83.5% to LeBron’s 74.7%.

 

Style of Play

Now that we have covered the numbers, we need to look at the two very different styles of play that these players display(ed). On the one hand, you had Jordan who was noticeably less strong than LeBron and who only played shooting guard and (rarely) small forward positions. On the other hand, LeBron often had to play 4 or even all 5 positions, from point guard to center. His superhuman-like physique and athleticism allowed him to do this.

There can be no doubt that Jordan was the more elegant and savvy player of the pair, exhibiting perfect balance and rhythm he employed to get to the basket. LeBron exchanged elegance for power and we have to say that it has worked for him. Both players also display exquisite court vision, although we would have to say that LeBron is more likely to get his teammates involved than Jordan was.

 

Something that these players share is the incredible focus and will to win. Jordan was competitive to a fault and while many people doubt the mental aspect of LeBron’s game and his drive, we believe that he has shown enough to silence the doubters.

 

Different Game

It needs to be pointed out, however, that Jordan and LeBron play(ed) in two very different eras of NBA basketball. During Jordan’s championship years, NBA was a much rougher place where players on defense had much more freedom in guarding their players. It is quite possible that in today’s league, where players on the offense are virtually under a glass bell, Jordan would score 50 or 60 points per game.

Of course, this is all hypothetical, like all comparisons of two players are. Especially when they are as different as LeBron and Jordan are.

Basketball Terms

NBA Attendance: A History

NBA Attendance – A History


NBA was not always the huge crowd-puller that it is today and has been for the last three decades. In the early days of the league, games were played in high school gyms in front of crowds of hundreds or even dozens. Players travelled by buses and trains and they slept in run-down hotels, if fortunate. Do not even get us started on the way African-American players were welcomed, especially in certain parts of the country.

By the early 1970s, things started to look up and NBA was beginning to find its way to popularity that was comparable to that of NFL, NHL and MLB. Still, the crowds were nowhere near as big as those attracted by the other major sports.

In the mid-1980s, things really started happening for NBA and it was all thanks to two players – Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. The league knew how to market their rivalry, the glitzy Los Angeles Lakers led by Magic and the blue-collar Boston Celtics led by Bird. When Michael Jordan arrived in 1984, the league exploded and the games started attracting larger and larger crowds. Since then, with only a few dips during a couple of seasons, the attendance of NBA games has been steady and on the rise.

Today, we will be looking at five NBA games with the largest attendance recorded, as well as the game with the lowest recorded attendance in history.

1. 2010 NBA All-Star Game
Some people will argue that an All-Star game does not belong here since it is not a regular season or play-off game, but we say to them that it is still organized by the Association and that it still involved NBA players, the best at the time, moreover. The game was played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas and it was the 59th All-Star game in NBA history. It was also attended by 108,713, making it the most attended NBA game in history, and by a significant margin. The East won, 141 – 139 and Dwyane Wade was named the MVP.

2. Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks, March 27, 1998
From the early 1970s, Atlanta Hawks played their games at the Omni Coliseum. In mid-1990s, it was decided that a new arena would be built. The Hawks’ 1996-1997 season was the last one they played at Omni. The arena was demolished and works on the new arena began.
The reason we’re telling you all this is because for the next two seasons, Hawks played at Georgia Dome, the home of Atlanta Falcons. And in 1998, more precisely March 27, Hawks hosted Chicago Bulls led by his Airness, Michael Jordan. The game is still the most attended game in the history of NBA regular season and playoff games, with 62,046 people in attendance. Unfortunately for the huge home crowd, Jordan led the Bulls to a victory, 89-74. It wasn’t even close.

3. Boston Celtics vs. Detroit Pistons, Jan. 29, 1988
The next largest crowd at an NBA game was recorded in 1988, when Detroit Pistons hosted their bitter Eastern Conference rivals, Boston Celtics. It was another classic late 1980s Pistons-Celtics game with Larry Bird and Isiah Thomas going at each other. Larry Bird just barely missed a triple-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists. Thomas did not bring his best game, but the team effort by the Pistons ensured a comfortable 125-108 victory. Number of people attending? 61,983 filling the seats at Pontiac Silverdome.

4. Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons, Feb. 14, 1987
Pontiac Silverdome was the venue for the next game on our list, with the crowd of 52,745. This time the visitors were Philadelphia 76ers and the game was played on Valentine’s Day, 1987. For the 76ers, Roy Hinson had 27 points and Tim McCormick had 23. It was not enough to beat Pistons led by Adrian Dantley who scored 35 and Joe Dumars who scored 20. Pistons won, 125-107.

5. Denver Nuggets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, April 17, 1990
Minnesota Timberwolves were one of four expansion teams to enter the NBA in the 1989-1990 season and their first year in NBA, they played their home games at the Metrodome, the home of Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins. On April 17, 1990, they played the Nuggets in front of the biggest crowd in franchise history – 49,551. Unfortunately for the home crowd, Timberwolves lost, 99-89.

The Smallest Recorded NBA Crowd – San Francisco Warriors vs. Detroit Pistons, March 4, 1965
First of all, we feel we should point out that there is a very clear possibility the game played between San Francisco Warriors (who later became Golden State Warriors) and Detroit Pistons in 1965 was not the NBA game with the smallest crowd. It was, however, the game with the lowest attendance ever recorded. There were exactly 741 people in attendance that night. And it’s not like there weren’t any stars playing that night. Two of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History went against each other – Dave DeBusschere for the home Pistons and Nate Thurmond for Warriors.
It is the perfect example of how much the NBA has grown over the years.

NBA Season Guide

Welcome To Your NBA Season Guide For 2015-16!

The 2015-16 NBA Season promises to be one of the best in years, with last season’s finalists Warriors and Cavaliers remaining strong (if not stronger) and with some other teams making some great moves in the off-season and on Draft Night. There are going to be battles fought every night and our season guide will be with you all the way.

You’ll be able to find all sorts of insights, stories and news in our guide, all written and updated regularly by people who watch games every night and who have all the stats you will ever need. Our guide will be your one-shop stop for everything that has to do with the 2015-16 NBA Season.

Learn who is playing who, who is on the rise and who is putting up great numbers. Read about the best performances and the best games. Check out our predictions for the playoffs and the title race. Find out who will be making the all-star teams and who will be reaping the awards come the end of the season.

All that and much, much, much more!

Basketball Terms

12 Basketball Terms You Should Definitely Know

If you are just getting into NBA, the language and the terminology can be quite intimidating, especially considering the pace of the game where you cannot blink without missing something. The following 12 terms will be heard during any NBA broadcast and they are the very basics of NBA lingo that you should know.

 

1. Field Goal

A field goal, or ‘fg’ as you will see it in the stats, denotes every attempt at getting the ball into the basket. Every shot, dunk, layup or three point shot is considered to be a field goal (if it is made, of course). Free throws are not field goals. Regardless of whether it gets in, every attempt at a field goal is called a field goal attempt, or ‘fga’ for short.

 

2. Frontcourt/Backcourt

Frontcourt and backcourt are two terms that describe the traditional positions in basketball. Point guards and shooting guards are considered to be backcourt while the small forwards, power forwards and centers are considered to be frontcourt players.

 

3. Fast Break

Fast break is a term used to describe an offensive possession that occurs as a result of the opposing team’s turnover or a quick rebound and outlet pass. For a possession to be considered a fast break, the team that is on the defense cannot have a set defense, meaning that they need to defend on the fly.

 

4. Turnover

Turnover is any action that results in the other team gaining possession of the ball. It can be a result of travelling violation, a steal made by the defending team, going out of bounds or failing to shoot at the basket within the 24 seconds teams are given for each possession.

 

5. Double/Double Double/Triple Double/Quadruple Double

Double is a term that is used when a player gets a double count of any of the statistical categories – points, steals, rebounds, blocks, assists. For a player to record a double double, they need to have more than 10 in any of the aforementioned categories. Triple double is achieved when a player gets 10 in three categories while quadruple double requires double figures in four categories. Quadruple double was recorded only 4 times in the history of the NBA.

 

6. Post-up

Post up (verb – posting up) is an offensive setup where a player, usually a forward or center, receives the ball with his or her back to the basket. The player then uses their offensive post-up skills to create a position for a high-percentage shot or to make a useful pass. Post-up game has become much less frequently used in the last decade or so.

 

7. Pick and Roll

Pick and roll is among the most commonly used offensive plays and it denotes a situation in which one player creates a screen for another player (usually a point guard). The player with the ball can then lose his defender thanks to the screen. P’n’R usually results in the screen-setter’s defender also defending the ball-handler, which often frees up the screen-setter, allowing him or her to “roll” to the basket without worrying about his defender. There are a number of variations where either of the two players gets a relatively undefended shot. If you want to see perfect pick and rolls in action, check out some videos of Stockton and Malone who perfected the play.

 

8. 3-and-D Player

A 3-and-D player is a player who combines high percentage three point shooting and great defensive skills. Such players are usually shooting guards or small forwards and they are becoming more and more useful as the game progresses. They often provide very little besides these two skills, but in today’s basketball, these two skills are enough to make a player very useful.

 

9. Paint

Paint denotes a part of the basketball court that is located near the basket and that is usually painted a different color from the rest of the court. You will also hear that people use the term “key” for this area, while its official name is the free throw lane. Offensive players cannot spend more than three seconds in the opposing team’s paint or else this will result in a turnover.

 

10. Buzzer Beater

In order for a shot to be considered a buzzer beater, the player needs to release the ball before the sound of the buzzer that announces the end of the quarter or the game and the ball needs to fall into the basket after the sound of the buzzer. In essence, the buzzer needs to occur in the time it takes the ball to go from the player’s hand into the basket.

 

11. Sixth Man

The sixth man is an NBA player who is not in the starting lineup but who is considered to be crucial to the success of the team. Many teams purposefully make one of their more useful players a bench player, the sixth man who is supposed to lead the second unit (players who come in to replace the starters at one point in the game).

 

12. Hack a Shaq

Hack a Shaq is a defensive strategy in which the defending team deliberately fouls a player from the opposing team who is notorious for bad free throw shooting. If their percentage is too low, it makes mathematical and statistical sense to foul him and send him to the line instead of defending. The term was coined when teams used this strategy on Shaquille O’Neal who was very bad at shooting free throws. Since then, it has been used on a number of players.

Damian Lillard NBA

Trail Blazers Offseason is there a plan B?

For the Portland Trail Blazers offseason, Plan A is to resign Lamarcus Aldridge and then go from there to improve the other positions. However, what happens if Lamarcus Aldridge leaves Portland? Do the Blazers have Plan B? Can they afford to sign other big name players?

Let’s take a look at the Trail Blazers Offseason Situation.

The Cap Space

If Lamarcus Aldridge walks in the Trail Blazers offseason, the Blazers will have around $40 million tied up in cap space. That is assuming they haven’t resigned Wesley Matthews or Robyn Lopez. The $40 million are calculated with the contracts and salary of new players that they acquired: Gerald Henderson and Mason Plumlee. The good news is that Plumlee is still playing on a rookie contract, and the Blazers have a team option for the next two seasons. That makes him extremely cheap and valuable player. Assuming that the cap will be set at somewhere around $67 million or $70 million, the Trail Blazers could have around $30 million in cap space.

A Big Man alternative

If Lamarcus Aldridge walks, and Blazers do not resign their free agents, they will need a replacement for center/power forward since Plumlee can play either position, and small forward. For the Blazers, signing a big man is the priority. The Trail Blazers can go two ways here. The first option is to go for a big name free agent like DeAndre Jordan, someone who has been linked with the Blazers for some time, or sign a cheaper alternative, and pursue a big name small forward. A smart GM, like Neil Olshey is, can probably see that there are number of big men on the market, including Atlanta Hawks Paul Millsap, Brooklyn Nets Brook Lopez, Greg Monroe, Tyson Chandler, Josh Smith, David West, Brandan Wright, Amare, Carlos Boozer, Omer Asik and much more. However, the pool for small forwards and perimeter players is smaller. Therefore, expect the Blazers to pursue a second tier big man if Aldridge leaves during the Trail Blazers offseason, someone like the Pelcians Omer Asik, Indiana Pacers David West or the Dallas Mavericks Tyson Chandler.

The Wing Position

The biggest problem for the Blazers the past season was Batum was not playing at an All Star level. The Blazers need a wing that can complement Damian Lillard, or someone who can shoot the 3 and defend. There are two free agents that fit that description perfectly. The first one is DeMarre Carroll, who is an unrestricted free agent, and Tobias Harris, a restricted free agent. They probably won’t get in the Jimmy Butler/Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes during the Trail Blazers offseason, but they can take a look at Carroll and Harris.

What if Aldridge resigns?

The question is a valid one, since if Aldridge resigns with the Blazers, the team will have to improve. If Aldridge resigns for the max, his contract for next season will start somewhere between $18 and $20 million. That will leave around $10 million in cap space for the Blazers, a money they must use to sign a replacement for Batum at least and play Plumlee at center. In that case, the Blazers will have to look at players like Danny Green, Gerald Green, Boston Celtics Jae Crowder, Loul Deng and Houston Rockets Corey Brewer. All these players can command somewhere between $6 and $10 million per year.

The Portland Trail Blazers finished last season with a record of 51-31, 1st in NBA Western Conference Northwest Division. LaMarus Aldridge went into the Trail Blazers offseason ranked 7th in NBA players having played 71 games during the season, averaging 35.4 minutes a game with 23.4 points per game average.

Trail Blazers Upcoming Games

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LaMarcus Aldridge Top 10 Plays of Career

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