2009-10 NBA preview: Portland Trail Blazers
It seemed that the Portland Trail blazers were destined to become the off season’s NBA version of the Biggest Losers. They had multiple trade discussions with several teams that went absolutely nowhere. Paul Millsap used their offer to leverage a larger offer from the Utah Jazz, Hedo Turkoglu teased them, and then finally in the closing moments of the free agent signing period the Blazers pull off a coup. They landed Andre Miller and signed the Guard to a three year deal. Now this up and coming NBA team has the piece they needed to build around.
Head Coach Nate McMillan has been begging for a player like Miller. A five year playoff vet who brings a little now how to his young team. The best thins about signing Miler was the Blazers gave up none of their young talent to sign him. In fact the Trail Blazers return their top eight scorers from a year ago, and simply add Miller to the mix. All that seems to suggest that this team is poised for a deep playoff run.
Remember this was a team that won 54 games and shared the North West Division title with the Denver Nuggets. Their All Star cornerstones of Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge are rapidly becoming elite Western Conference players. Now the Blazers look for 2007 draft picks Greg Oden, and Spaniard Rudy Fernandez to step up their game. The team is also looking for 2008 first year starter Nicolas Batum to come back much improved.
There are many reasons for Trail Blazer fans to be excited and the last of which is the return of Martell Webster who missed all but a few minutes of last season. Getting him back is just like adding another free agent and this team looks ready to become a player in the Western Conference.