I can’t believe one phase of my life will be ending soon, and another one will be beginning. I can’t even begin to comprehend what the last four years have meant to me. So many memories, so many friends that I’ve made, and so much that I’ve learned. There’s always going to be that little part of me, wishing that I’d done more…been more involved, tried different things, been more outgoing. But I wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything else. And when I start to think about where I’m going, and how I will be away from the majority of my friends starting very soon, I get really sad. And it sucks. If I felt like ending high school was tough, this is going to be way tougher.
I don’t like to think about not seeing my friends often starting this summer. I’m not sure they know how much they mean to me. Without them, I’d be nothing. There’s always been a part of me that has felt out of place. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been called ‘weird’, ‘annoying’, or some other stupid name. With my friends, I feel safe. I feel loved. And I hope the memories don’t stop here.
I know they’ll all do big things in life. Be successful. Be happy. Do what they love. And while I look forward to what the future holds, I can’t help but be scared about the uncertainty that surrounds it.
My take on the Trail Blazers offseason plans.
I’m probably the last person likely to know anything of what the Blazers have planned this offseason, but it’s always fun to speculate what you don’t know.
The Blazers, fresh off a third consecutive year losing in the first round of the playoffs, need help in a lot of areas if they plan on contending in the Western Conference. Help for this team can come from different areas; beat up players like Greg Oden and Brandon Roy getting healthy, trading older players like Marcus Camby and Andre Miller for draft picks/younger players with more upside, or going for it all by trading major pieces like Wesley Mathews or Nicolas Batum for a superstar (always speculated as Chris Paul).
One area the Blazers desperately need to improve on is shooting. The supposed ‘shooters’ on the team (Rudy Fernandez, Batum, and Mathews) aren’t going to scare teams with the three-point shot, simply because they aren’t consistent enough. I’d love to see the Blazers get a guy that can come off the bench and spread the floor because of his shooting, a guy like Kyle Korver, James Jones, or C.J. Miles. There aren’t a ton of free-agent options on shooters this year, but perhaps in the draft, trading up for UConn guard Kemba Walker, or maybe taking a chance on ‘The Jimmer’, Jimmer Fredette. Which, even though I might think ridiculous, may be pretty fun to see.
Most of the Blazers plans depends on what the team decides to do with Oden and Miller. With Oden, the Blazers will offer Oden the $8.8 million, and I personally think he’ll take it. If not, then he’ll be a restricted free agent. But what teams are willing to take a chance on him? On the other side, the team has the option of resigning Miller for another year. The team has been mum on the decision, but without him, who plays point guard? The Blazers would have to draft a point guard or trade for one, because neither Patty Mills nor Armon Johnson will be starting come next year.
It would also be smart for the team to draft another guy who can play in the post. Camby isn’t getting any younger. Aldridge was top-five in minutes played last year. Gerald Wallace can play the four, but we all know he’s better at the three, where he can slash inside and physically guard smaller players. Other than that, there’s no one else. Portland will have to get one more big body underneath, and a banger would be nice.
This offseason may be the biggest one in a long time for this organization. What will be the team’s decision on Brandon Roy? What will be his role? When will Greg Oden be on the court again? Will the Blazers trade up for a lottery pick in the draft, or stay put with their mid-round selection? Does Andre Miller stay or go? There are a ton of unanswered questions as of now. I’d like to see the team keep Oden and Miller, and draft a young point like Kemba Walker. Also, if the right deal is out there, then I would be willing to trade Batum for another big man. The acquisition of Gerald Wallace makes Batum expendable at this point.