The Portland Trail Blazers will once again be contending for the championship next season. Yes, it’s true Rip City fans. The moment we have all been waiting for, the time when our team would make it to the elite of the Western Conference is there, and the greatest news is that the Blazers are here to stay. Although Rip City recorded a great 2013 – 2014 campaign and made it as far as the second round of the playoffs, it’s obvious that some adjustments are needed to take things to the next level. Smart offseason moves, trades and signings will help the team move forward, and the signing of Spencer Hawes could be one of those.
The 7 – footer versatile big man could provide a significant boost to the Blazers’ shooting ability from mid and long range. Hawes recorded his best season up to now in the league in 2013 – 2014 both in scoring and in shooting percentages. In 53 games with the Philadelphia 76ers he averaged 13.0 points and 45.1 per cent shooting from the field while after he got dealt with Cleveland, his numbers increased to 13.5 points per contest, 46.8 per cent from the floor and 44.8 per cent from three-point range.
It’s notable that Hawes could help the Blazers both in the shooting and in the rebounding category. Rip City has a solid starting five, but it certainly needs to add some depth and also some quality in its front line. With Mo Williams holding a player option this summer, the Blazers might have to turn their interest towards other options, especially if Williams decides to seek for another destination.
But even if Williams stays in Portland, the Blazers will have both the financial flexibility and the need to land a player like Hawes. Portland has around $57 million in its books for the upcoming season, and this means the team could throw a tempting offer on the table for Hawes. At the same time, Rip City will use its team option for Robin Lopez, unless a significant surprise happens.
Of course, there are several alternative options with which the Blazers could upgrade their frontcourt. Chris Kaman and Jordan Hill will be unrestricted free agents this summer, and they could have a big impact in Rip City’s chances to do better next season. Elton Brand, Emeka Okafor and Jermaine O’Neil could also be targeted but they don’t have the quality and the potential of a guy like Hawes or Kaman.
With the picture we saw from the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2013 – 2014 campaign, it became apparent that this team can achieve great things in the next season. The Blazers seem to be a few tweaks away from seriously contending for a championship. And although Spencer Hawes will not make Rip City the best team in the NBA, it is a move that makes sense for Terry Stotts’s group.
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