Originally Posted by improbus
I'm not saying that team couldn't be good, eventually. But, there is a team to the south of Portland that has a better C than Hibbert (and just as young) better or equal PF to Aldridge, and one of the best SGs in basketball history and couldn't get past the second round, so it is hard to get too excited about that lineup.
I'd disagree a whole bunch about Pau Gasol being Aldridge's equal. Gasol's 2012 was the very definition of ordinary. LA also had perhaps the worst PG play of any team in the league. Worse than Felton, in fact. (As hard as that is to believe.) And their small forward and bench rotation were among the league's worst.
In short, LA has/ had a great player, a very good player, an average player, and little else resembling league average play.
I get the Portland questions. But I'm a sucker for young, cap-friendly teams with athletic upside and production. The Blazers have four players that should be among the top 10 players in the league, per position. They also have a couple rookies that could blossom.
Portland's Big Four-- Aldridge, Batum, and Lillard, and Hibbert-- could compare favorably with all but OKC as early as next season. Aldridge is a stud. Batum and Hibbert are very, very good, and Lillard's numbers look great. If Wes Matthews (or another SG) can man up, they're as good as anyone this side of OKC in the West. They've got more cap room to add pieces if need be and an owner historically open to adding talent. (Johnson from the ATL would be a nice guy to grab out from under the Nets' nose. And it wouldn't cost all that much in terms of talent. Only cash.)