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News » Portland Trail Blazers Roster Report 2008-04-29


Portland Trail Blazers Roster Report 2008-04-29


Portland Trail Blazers Roster Report 2008-04-29
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: After he won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 2006-07, the Blazers knew what they had with Brandon Roy. But the 6-6 guard from Washington exceeded expectations in his second season, becoming the first Blazer since Rasheed Wallace in 2000-01 to make the All-Star team.

With the departure of Zach Randolph to New York, Roy took over as the Blazers unquestioned leader, on the court and off.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: The letdown to Blazer fans was tremendous when Greg Oden's season-ending microfracture surgery was announced before training camp began. The team had set up an extensive marketing program involving Oden, and the 18-year-old told general manager Kevin Pritchard that he felt like he'd let the team down. But Oden was a familiar presence around the team all season, doing his rehab at the team practice facility and attending almost every game, home and away. Oden dealt with the boredom of rehab by buying a dog named Charles Barkley McLovin', getting a Mohawk haircut and taking part in several team community events.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: James Jones has a player option for $3.16 million for 2008-09 that the team expects him to exercise, although Jones has said he isn't sure yet what he wants to do. Jarrett Jack is due a qualifying offer of $2.9 million for 2008-09.

Don't expect the Blazers to be big players on the free-agent market in 2008. Pritchard's master plan has been to wait until the summer of 2009 to make go after free agents, when he could have as much as $25 million to $30 million of cap room to burn.

PLAYER NOTES:

--F Martell Webster made a big jump in his third season, moving into a starting role and becoming a long-ball threat, averaging 10.7 points per game and shooting .388 from behind the arc. But Webster, who plans to train this summer in Los Angeles with Blazer assistant Bill Bayno, newly hired as the coach at Loyola Marymount, could be a potential piece in a trade, especially with Outlaw and Jones also at the small forward position.

--F/C Channing Frye made the most of the opportunity when C Joel Przybilla broke his hand five games before the end of the season. Frye, averaging 6.7 points and 4.5 rebounds, started for Przybilla and averaged 16.2 points and 10.5 rebounds. Frye's role diminished in Portland from his two seasons in New York. He averaged 12.3 points as a rookie in 2005-06 and started 59 games last year. Still, Frye says he loves it in Portland and said he's grown up during his season with the Blazers. "I've grown up so much here off the court. On the court I've finally figured out what I'm good at and what I need to work on."

--Portland's 13-game winning streak in December coincided with G Brandon Roy being moved to a de facto point guard role. With the ball in his hands, Roy became Portland's leader in scoring and assists with 19.3 points and 5.9 assists per game. But coach Nate McMillan wants Roy to work on his stamina, saying he must come into the season planning to play 82-plus games next year.

--Nobody will be more excited for the 2007-08 season to begin than C Greg Oden, who said he nearly went crazy several times this season while sitting on the bench in street clothes. "But I got to watch every last player in the league, and that's going to help me a lot," he said. Oden plans to move to Columbus, Ohio for the summer to take classes at Ohio State.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 29, 2008

 

 
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