Let's Make a Deal: Zach Randolph for Richard Jefferson?
As many people pointed out to me via email, the solution is simple: the New Jersey Nets send Richard Jefferson to Portland in exchange for Randolph. It's quite brilliant, actually.
Jefferson is slated to make $12 million next season, and he's signed through 2011, a season in which he'll command a $15 million payday. Hey, the guy's an Olympian. He'll turn 27 this summer, so he's either in his prime about about to hit it. He'll fit perfect in the Portland lineup at small forward.
In exchange, New Jersey will get the scoring power forward it never had (apologies, Kenyon Martin). Randolph will bring his 23 points and 10 rebounds to the Swamp, bang next to Nenad Krstic, and pray that the Nets get a shooter either this offseason or in the draft. And no, that shooter is not Vince Carter. Randolph will be making $13.3 million next year, and he's due for a $17.3 million windfall in 2011. So the money's close. Randolph was an afterthought out West, hardly garnering any ink with the likes of Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Dirk Nowitzki grabbing all the headlines (rightfully so). But Randolph will be a beast in the weak East. He'll probably prove good enough - assuming they find that shooter - to get the Nets a Top 4 seed in the postseason.
Great. So we've now solved things. The Blazers make this deal, draft Greg Oden, and then hope Brandon Roy can carry that terrible offense. Wait - one last thing. Portland GM Kevin Pritchard may be a Kevin Durant guy.