PDX MM wrote:DaVoiceMaster wrote:Does anyone else like the idea of the bench having Hood, Ariza, Melo, and Whiteside, along with a veteran PG? I'd be happy with that lineup next year coming off the bench. That means your starters are Lillard, CJ, Collins, Nurkic, and a SF (what could a combination of Simon, Trent Jr., and Little get em???). That's a really nice team... assuming Nurk and Collins are healthy and back in form. That could be a big ask at this point.
The potential problem is two of those guys have been known as malcontents whose ego's wouldn't allow them to come off the bench in the past. Has that really changed I wonder.
I assume you are talking about Melo and Whiteside since Ariza and Hood have history as being backups. First, whoever says they are malcontents doesn't know anything. In Portland there are only 2 guys (Stotts and Olshey) that can tell you who is a malcontent and neither of those guys would ever say anything to an outsider. Second, every 15-man roster is going to have 12 guys that are less than happy with their role. If anyone other than Lillard, CJ, and Nurk are happy with their role, they are probably incompetent at filling the role they are asked to play.
It is known that Whiteside wasn't happy in Miami. It doesn't surprise me that Whiteside was unhappy there. His best teammate was the often injured and past his prime Wade, who Whiteside probably loved playing with. Most of his time in Miami his best teammate was Josh Richardson. Richardson is a very good player, but your team is terrible if he is leading your offense. Whiteside shouldered unreasonable expectations because of his pay and lack of competent team support in Miami. As to Whiteside's willingness to come off the bench, we will soon find out. He isn't going to sign a contract to play in Portland if he isn't willing to come off the bench.
No player would be happy sitting on the bench while lesser players play. This is the dumb question that Melo gets asked all the time. Melo has never been less than one of his teams best players (usually the best). Even now on a loaded Blazers roster at the age of 36, Melo is one of our 5 best players. So, the question is, will Melo take a role backing up Ariza if Stotts decides he wants Ariza's defense for the betterment of the team. Here again, Melo knows basketball and he knows his teammates. He knows this is an issue because Lillard and CJ are offensive players. We will soon have the answer to the question because Melo isn't going to sign to play in Portland if he isn't willing to do the job he is signing on to do.