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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 10, 2007 7:26 AM. The previous post in this blog was Now you're talkin'. The next post in this blog is All frills, all the time. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ime, we hardly knew ye

Word on the street is that the Blazers are going to spend the big bucks to hang onto underachieving string bean Travis Outlaw, which means that they won't have the dough to hold onto Ime Udoka. Ime, the former Portland State standout, did yeoman's work here last year, but the roster's getting a little crowded, and he'll likely make a lot more money elsewhere. Too bad.

Comments (16)

It is too bad. Ime is the kind of player you need to win championships but who usually flies under the radar. Tough, hardworking guys who can muzzle the Kobes and let our horses run. Against my better judgment, I started heading back to Blazers games last year--Ime and Roy were the reasons.

Maybe some people will be upset with the Blazers for not having some loyalty here... but really, Ime should be thanking them for giving him not only a shot, but a starting role last season. He wouldn't even be negotiating with teams at this point for a free agent contract, especially for the money he's looking for now.

And I'm sorry, but everyone's obsessed with having a 'kobe stopper', which doesn't exist. Against Ime, Kobe scored 32, 25, and 65 (!!!) last season. I think Ime did a great job being a 'glue' guy, but he's not a defensive shutdown artist, ala Bruce Bowen... not even close.

People get so enamored with sympathetic characters and lunch-bucket guys that they fail to remember this is a business. It's getting crowded on that roster, so much so that guys like Pryzbilla and LaFrenz might not see time off the bench. So much so that Taurean Green from those great Florida teams might not even make the cut!!

To go along with the "business" comment. The Fan was reporting last night that Ime was demanding no less than the mid-level exception. Way more than he is worth, especially considering he is 30.

Taurean Green from those great Florida teams might not even make the cut

Will he play anywhere in the NBA?

Well, he may not be worth the entire MLE, and it may his agent that is churning the rumors about a mysterious team offering him three years at $4M/year (which is about 2/3 of the full MLE), but I wouldn't say that he's "not worth" that amount. he's worth whatever a team is willing to pay for him. many teams over the years have added a guy right after his prime for a few years to be a role player, so just because he's 30 shouldn't be a deterrent.

he was a great story last year, and Portland should be glad if he's able to parlay that success into a deal that should have him set for life. God speed, Ime.

I wish Ime well. And if the Blazers were closer to contending for anything meaningful, I might agree that he would be a "role player" and could possibly be worth the MLE. But with the team as young as it is now, all he is going to do is eat up minutes of younger guys who need time to get better.

If you follow Prichard's criteria for players, Taurean Green fits the bill perfectly. He's a value pick simply because he knows how to win, he can hit the outside shot and direct a Portland-style team better than Jack, I'm convinced of it (though not right away). He's definitely a team guy who doesn't mind giving the ball down low to his tall firs. Perfect for the Blazers.

There's talk of Steve Blake coming back, and I certainly wouldn't mind it after seeing what he did to us at Denver. But man, with Jack, Sergio, Green, that Finnish kid, and possibly Blake, the Blazers have some serious considerations to come.

This is driving me absolutely crazy. The idea that the Blazers would choose Outlaw over Udoka is ridiculous. Don't you think this team could use someone older than 25? Who else on the current squad is a reliable 3 point threat? No one!

People swoon over Outlaw's athleticism and speed and dunking ability, but he's been in the NBA for 3 years and still hasn't put it together. With Ime, the Blazers will get exactly what they have seen: a veteran, solid defender, satisfied role player, who can rebound and shoot the 3.

The season per game averages are 9.6 pts./3.2 reb. for Outlaw and 8.4 pts./3.7 reb. for Ime. A wash. But look at the whole picture. Ime has a better field goal %, MUCH better 3 point shooting (41% to 27%), is a better rebounder, has more assists, slightly more steals, and is a much better defender. Outlaw has a miniscule edge in free throw %, more blocks, and, uh, he's younger. So is my 4 year old son, and the Blazers aren't about to pay big money for him.

I suspect if you knock out Outlaw's shameless gunning (i.e., contract push) at the end of the season against junior varsity squads, the scoring average would be a lot less.

It's possible he's not worth $4 million a year, but the Blazers are the one team that should overpay slightly for a guy like Ime, and not just because he's a boy scout, or a local guy. They need his skills.

TKreug, point taken about how no one can really "stop" Kobe. Note but that Kobe's 65 point outburst (3/16/07) was an overtime game, and it was clear at that point that Ime's torn meniscus was in bad shape.

Benschon- You're forgetting that the team is concerned about Ime's knees. They don't get better, they get worse. And his deteriorated quite a bit over the course of last season.

You're forgetting how good Outlaw got on defense in the span of one year under McMillan. Still needs to get better, but you could see he wasn't lost anymore, and you saw glimpses of Pippen's hands and arms.

You're also forgetting that having someone like Outlaw wrapped up means you hang on to something of trade value... someone who is still young, but has improved greatly over the previous year on defense. Or, what could eventually be a better deal, Portland works some sort of sign-and-trade deal this summer to land a bigger fish. You can't deny that other teams have more interest in Outlaw... the team has stated as much.

you saw glimpses of Pippen's hands and arms.

Laughable. Similar smelling armpits, perhaps.

I know it's laughable, but I was watching pretty closely, especially against good competition. He still screws up and gets burned, but you can tell he's got a motor. His reflexes are better and he's disrupting dribbles and passes with this quick, long arms. He has the potential to be one of those annoying defenders because he's so frenetic.

I'm just happy to see McMillan work his magic on Outlaw. I'm much more concerned about Martell's lack of position at this point. He's just a warm body right now.

I guess we will just have to disagree. I believe if the Blazers sign either player, they will get exactly what they have seen thus far.

Parting shot: Ime's three point shooting percentage last season was better than Rashard Lewis, Ginobili, Bowen, Okur, and Redd. If teams pack in the defense against the Blazers because no one can keep them honest from 3 pt range, it's going to be a tough slog for the bigs.

Everyone, don't forget, we still have Martell Webster!

And Darius!

Regardless of his future with the Blazers, Ime has been in the team's training facility practically every day this summer working on his shot and other stuff. He could be a lot better next year. By the way, you tear off some meniscus and it's not the end of the world--it's way less severe than an ACL or PCL injury. I know, I've gone through arthroscopic surgery. It means a lot of icing after a game, but you can function okay.

For me it comes down to smart vs. dumb. Ime is obviously a savvy player. Outlaw, whatever his talents, led the league in bonehead plays last year.

So I see they signed Outlaw. I hope Ime gets on with a decent team that needs him.


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