Line of the Night (12/17): Jerryd Bayless

Bayless has had trouble getting consistent minutes in his year and change with the Blazers, but Portland was without Rudy Fernandez and Travis Outlaw due to injury, so Bayless played 29 minutes last night against the Suns. He responded with 29 points, four assists, three rebounds, and hit 9 of 15 shots from the field, spearheading a 105-102 win for the Blazers at the Rose Garden.

Here is what John Hollinger said about his rookie season:

The combo guard had a rough rookie year, but the problem wasn’t the oft-heard mantra that Bayless is a shooting guard trapped in a point guard’s body. There are lots of players like that in the league and many of them are thriving. No, Bayless’ issue was that he was a shooting guard who couldn’t shoot trapped in a point guard’s body. That’s a problem.

After the game, Bayless commented about his role with the team:

“Me and Brandon talk about it a lot,” said the second-year guard from Arizona. “He can be Lebron (James) and I can be the Mo Williams of our offense.

“Mo’s not a pure point; he’s a guy who can make plays. That’s what I tried to do tonight — make plays for myself and everybody else.”

If Bayless can shoot the ball well, he can play alongside Roy in the backcourt. The Blazers want a player who can space the court and keep double-teams off of their superstar. Bayless’s FG% has risen from 37% in his rookie season to 53% and his 3P% has risen from 26% to 36% over the same span. If he can keep shooting the ball like that, he will get minutes.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Blazers reportedly make strong pitch for Stoudemire

If this story is true, Amare Stoudemire could be heading to the Pacific Northwest before the Nov. 19 trade deadline.

The Portland Trail Blazers have made a strong play for Amare Stoudemire, discussing a package that includes LaMarcus Aldridge, Jerryd Bayless, and Raef LeFrentz’s $12.7 million expiring contract, a person with direct knowledge of the talks told Tuesday.

One factor complicating matters, according to a team executive who has spoken with the Suns, is an apparent difference of opinion between Kerr and managing partner Robert Sarver as far as what Phoenix hopes to get back in a Stoudemire trade. Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and Leandro Barbosa are viewed as untouchable in any trade talks with the Suns. It is not known if any of those players is the source of disagreement between Kerr and Sarver.

I’m surprised that the Blazers are willing to give up Aldridge, but if that’s the case and Steve Kerr insists on trading Stoudemire, then he should jump on this deal. Aldridge is currently #13 amongst power forwards in PER (18.98), while Stoudemire is #11 (20.14). This tells me that Aldridge is every bit the stat guy that Amare is, and he’s probably a better defender too. The Suns would get a burgeoning All-Star talent, a young prospect in Bayless and salary cap relief in the form of Raef LaFrentz’s expiring contract.

Read the rest after the jump...

2008 NBA Preview: #13 Portland Trail Blazers

Offseason Movement: The two big additions this offseason were Rudy Fernandez, a versatile Manu Ginobili-like Spanish wing and Jerryd Bayless, a University of Arizona combo guard dripping with potential. In addition, the team will get Greg Oden back from an injury that knocked him out of the 2007-08 season.
Keep Your Eye On: Rudy Fernandez
Based on his play against Team USA in Beijing, I think Fernandez is ready to contribute now. He might be a little short (6’5”) to play small forward, but if the team elects to put Brandon Roy and Fernandez on the wing, they’ll be a formidable duo. Fernandez has a nice jumper and is athletic enough to take it to the rack. (He even dunked on Dwight Howard in the Olympics.)
The Big Question: How quickly will the Blazers mature?
A quick look at the team’s core reveals the Blazers’ biggest fault, and maybe its biggest strength: Roy (24 years-old), Oden (20), LaMarcus Aldridge (23), Bayless (20), Martell Webster (21), Fernandez (23), Travis Outlaw (24), Channing Frye (25). They are young. This group could be destined for great things, but it’s a matter of experience and maturity.
Outlook: Bright. Kevin Pritchard has done a wonderful job remaking this roster in short order. The coup was landing Brandon Roy, who turned out to be an All-Star caliber guard. Obviously, the addition of Greg Oden (assuming he pans out as expected) should give the franchise two stars to build around. And even though the team currently has a huge payroll ($81 million), a good portion of that ($38) is being paid to guys that aren’t even on the team anymore. The Blazers project to have a ton of cap space in the summer of 2010, when a number of stars will hit the free agent market. In fact, aside from the fact that Portland is not Brooklyn, the Blazers might represent LeBron James’ best shot at a championship. (Don’t worry, Nets fans, I don’t think that Portland is a big enough of a market for King James.)

Related Posts