Insider LinkAs crazy as this sounds with all the mayhem in the front office, the Blazers actually came out of this offseason better than when they started. Since Kevin Pritchard was allowed to operate the draft before being unceremoniously dumped as general manger, Portland ditched Martell Webster's contract and got three promising rookies out of draft day -- most notably high-scoring forward Luke Babbitt, who is exactly the kind of floor-spacing 4 who Nate McMillan loves.
During the interminable delay before hiring Pritchard's successor (note to Paul Allen and Larry Miller -- if you know several months ahead of time that you're firing the GM, it might be wise to have some kind of succession plan in place), what was left of Portland's front office managed to lure Wesley Matthews from Utah. They overpaid, sure, but they overpaid for a piece that really fits. Matthews will help them with his defense and 3-point shooting -- every team is looking for players like this -- and since I don't imagine Paul Allen will have major objections to the Blazers' being a luxury tax team, the dollars aren't going to hurt them.
Finally, the Blazers made a strong hire by bringing in Oklahoma City's Rich Cho to take over. He adds the cap expertise that the team lost with the firing of Tom Penn earlier in the spring. The Blazers lose Pritchard's scouting eye and deal-making skill, but the organization was already very strong in the former department with NBA scouting director Michael Born and college scouting director Chad Buchanan. Given what a mess this seemed like two months ago, they've ended up in fantastic shape.
I don't think they're in 'fantastic shape', but yeah, they're better than what they were.