Trade Center – NBA: Portland Gets Their Big Man

Steve O Speak

The Trade: The Portland Trail Blazers acquire F/C Marcus Camby from the Los Angeles Clippers for PG Steve Blake, SF Travis Outlaw and cash considerations.

Why This Works for Portland:  The Trail Blazers top two centers are out for the season with injuries, so Camby is a big boost to their front court. Portland also wanted a center who wasn’t signed for next season since their own guys should be back, making Camby even more attractive for them. Camby is a great pick up for the Trail Blazers, he’s one of the most underrated players in the league. He’s an excellent rebounder and defender, while offering some offensive upside. He’s not the biggest or strongest big out there, but he gets the job done. Camby should help secure the Trail Blazers a playoff spot, and get them at least to the 2nd round. They still aren’t fully capable of matching up with the Nuggets and Lakers, but once you get to the postseason, anything can happen.

Why This Works for Los Angeles:  The Clippers knew that Marcus Camby wasn’t likely to be back next season, since rookie PF Blake Griffin would be returning, so getting anything for him is a good deal. Since it was expiring contracts for expiring contracts, it looks as though the Clippers didn’t benefit much in this deal, but don’t be too quick to judge. The Clippers are set in the front court with Griffin’s return and Craig Smith and DeAndre Jordan helping out Chris Kamen on the boards. What L.A. needs is a talented small forward, who can be an effective scoring presence. Travis Outlaw could fit that bill for the Clippers. Outlaw isn’t elite, but he is young with plenty of potential. While he is an unrestricted free agent, the Clippers will have more negotiating power with him than other teams, and could always use him in a sign-and-trade deal if they decide to go in another direction. Blake will most assuredly leave after this season, but having another veteran player around can only help the young guards on the roster in their development.

Winner:  Both the Trail Blazers and Clippers won in this deal. Portland finally lands their center and keeps their playoff hopes alive. While Clippers gain some cash, and some flexibility with Travis Outlaw for next season. Don’t forget the Clippers got the all important cash considerations (and saved some money this year) in the deal.

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