Could the Trail Blazers Use LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMarcus Cousins?

The Portland Trail Blazers will enter the 2022-23 season with a lineup brief on dimension, carrying much less total expertise than they’ve over the previous few years. Those gaps are inflicting individuals to ask whether or not Portland could be higher off with extra frontcourt assist. One Blazer’s Edge reader has a fast answer: chase veteran ex-stars LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMarcus Cousins ​​to fill bench spots, beginning in case of emergency. We take up the query in immediately’s Blazer’s Edge Mailbag.

I see you publish solutions to questions usually so I believed I’d hearth one off right here and see what you considered discovering a method so as to add Aldridge and Boogie to this present lineup.

Size is lacking. They each have dimension.

Aldridge shoots and shoots in the NBA. 12/6 -13/7 final 12 months I consider. Pick and pop with Dame could be superior even for 10/12 min a sport.

Sure the feeling’s could be current with the entire return to the place he began factor however I’m severe…. Vet min for his manufacturing could possibly be a steal.

We all noticed Boogie in Denver. He’s probably the single finest insurance coverage coverage you would add to a Nurk harm or higher but a option to hold minutes down in the common season and not lose a ton whenever you sub or get in foul bother. Cousins ​​can flat out play.

Yes I get they’re getting a tad lengthy in the tooth however if you happen to suppose again to dames rookie season they’d an incredible infusion of vets and youth on that group.

Lawrence C.

It does make some instinctive sense. The Blazers might use dimension, depth, and veteran reliability, significantly in the frontcourt. Your thought is not terrible.

For a few causes, it in all probability will not occur.

The Blazers have an affordable mixture of established expertise and youth on the roster proper now, however little expertise collectively, no less than on this mixture.

In addition, most each participant exterior of Damian Lillard is attempting, in a method or one other, to determine himself. Anfernee Simons will probably be stepping right into a beginning function for the first time. Jerami Grant is attempting to make the leap from actually good participant to bona fide star, with the proper to minutes and pictures that the standing entails. Jusuf Nurkic needs a constant, large offensive function. Nassir Little is working in the direction of the beginning lineup and a brand new contract. Josh Hart is in a possible contract 12 months. Heck, even Lillard is coming off an virtually year-long harm following the worst season of his profession.

Under these situations, the Blazers, individually, are more likely to assault the season like a pack of wolves going after grandma’s meatloaf.

This is not a nasty factor. Competition and ahead momentum, correctly harnessed, can convey out the finest in a group and its gamers.

Now let’s throw DeMarcus Cousins ​​and LaMarcus Aldridge into the combine. Aldridge is 37, Cousins ​​32. Both have been stars and NBA All-Stars. If they play, they’ll be preventing to point out that they nonetheless belong in reasonably-big roles. Fair sufficient! Their identify worth and historical past are the actual causes you wished them and not Random Center X.

Having established themselves at that stage, although, they are not going to have the ability to cede their place and priorities whereas remaining helpful. Trendon Watford and Drew Eubanks—the present frontcourt reserves—try to determine themselves too. Nobody’s going to scream (together with them) if they can not do it but. Watford and Eubanks would be capable of deal with taking part in 5, or zero, minutes off the bench. Aldridge and Cousins ​​wouldn’t. Why are they even right here if they are not going to play?

Bringing these former stars on board, the Blazers could be committing, at some stage, to an immutable block of area in the rotation granted to them, not based mostly on present efficiency, however on historical past and status. Meanwhile everyone else, together with Portland’s finest gamers, will nonetheless be anticipated to scrape and scrap for his or her minutes and touches.

That’s a chemistry challenge simply ready to occur. If Aldridge and Cousins ​​get X variety of minutes mechanically, why not Grant and Simons who’re, at this level of their careers, far superior gamers? The Blazers might in all probability dwell with that, however then why not Hart and Little too? Trickle that down the lineup and swiftly gamers are arguing over the proper to play as an alternative of preventing for it.

If you resolve this challenge by not utilizing Aldridge and Cousins ​​usually, then they are not going to be comfortable. You’ll have a few huge-name, big-influence gamers at the finish of the bench, midway fuming, bringing nothing to the desk on the court docket.

In an ideal storm, everybody would combine seamlessly. This new, deeper lineup might work as you envision, for certain. But the Blazers already know that life would not find yourself completely fairly often. Head Coach Chauncey Billups may have sufficient to fret about with out having to combine two former stars whose reputations could also be too large for the scenario.

Add in the proven fact that the Blazers have dedicated to getting youthful, additionally the proven fact that Aldridge and Cousins ​​mixed would not put Portland a lot nearer to rivalry than they’re now, and you may see why this in all probability is not the proper match at this level.

This form of signing would have labored higher a few years in the past, when Lillard and CJ McCollum held unquestioned spots in the group, and league, hierarchy. Robert Covington, Norman Powell, Trevor Ariza, Larry Nance, Jr., and firm had fewer questions surrounding them, little to show. They have been introduced on to be precisely who they have been. Adding Aldridge and Cousins ​​underneath these circumstances would have made sense…veterans sliding alongside different established veterans.

This 12 months, I’m guessing the Blazers will get their younger guys some burn, then wait to see how this new lineup gels earlier than figuring out how you can patch holes. If Nurkic or Grant goes all the way down to long-term harm, they will begin casting for replacements then, understanding the actual want. Until then, I do not foresee them chasing extra established names so as to add to the lineup.

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