Now this doesn’t mean that Steve Blake is gearing up for a trade. Actually, it doesn’t really mean anything, but if there were a team that Blake would conceivably dart for it would be the Trailblazers. Along with having the first overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, which inevitably means Greg Oden, the Trailblazers are very familiar with Blake. Jason Quick writes, “Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard and Blake are close. Signing Blake was Pritchard's first significant player personnel move two years ago, and Pritchard was sick to his stomach last summer when Blake was traded to Milwaukee for Jamaal Magloire."
The other contributing factors in this whole saga is how much money Blake is looking to make next year and if the Nuggets can afford to pay him. Denver is in a bit of a financial bind with Kenyon Martin’s gianormous contract still looming, the increased price of Carmelo’s services, and Nene’s new contract all kicking in next year. Obviously, the Nuggets are shallow in their backcourt, but the real question is going to be how far Stan Kroenke wants to go into the red of the NBA luxury tax. The Trailblazers one the other hand are looking at all kinds of financial freedom due to only having $57 million dollars on the books as of this time in next season’s combined team salary.
This means that the Blake situation is going to be one of the main off-season stories to follow for numerous different reasons.
First of all, if the Nuggets do lose out in the bidding war over Steve Blake they will be forced to move at least one of their front court players not named Carmelo for help at point guard. This means Camby, Evans, Najera, or Martin or any combination of those names will be on the trading block. However, if the Nuggets do manage to keep Steve Blake that leaves them with the option of going out and finding either a point or shooting guard. A bigger name would certainly give Stevie B a run for the starting job. A lesser known player would come off the bench in relief for Blake.
My opinion is Steve Blake is not the man to commandeer the roster full of dynamic personalities that the Nuggets currently have. He is a rock solid reserve guard, that much is for certain, but I do not think that he has the vocal leadership abilities that the starting job in Denver necessitates. Guys like Iverson, Anthony, Martin, and Nene need to have a certain level of respect, one that only a championship ring brings, for the leader of this team. As of right now not a soul in the entire Nuggets franchise has that kind of street credibility and that reason alone is why the Nuggets seemingly fall apart every May.
Keep Stevie B if he fully understands his role, including the financial one, with this team; otherwise don’t flinch if and when he bolts for more money because he obviously has a new mortgage to cover. And who can blame him?