Whitsitt’s greatest hits Ñ and misses
- Pamplin Media
- Portland Tribune - Sports
A look at some of the deals that worked at least OK during Bob Whitsitt's nine-year run as president and general manager of the Blazers Ñ and some others that were bona fide flops.
1996: Trades Rod Strickland and Harvey Grant to Washington for Rasheed Wallace and Mitchell Butler. This was made after Wallace's rookie season with the then Bullets, and Strickland was 30 years old and in his prime. Wallace developed into an All-Star forward and has led Portland in scoring the past four seasons.
1997: Trades Kenny Anderson, Gary Trent and Alvin Williams, two first-round picks, one second-round pick and cash considerations to Toronto for Damon Stoudamire, Walt Williams and Carlos Rogers. Stoudamire has given Portland 5 1/2 serviceable seasons and has had a better career than Anderson over that duration.
1998: The Detroit Pistons draft Bonzi Wells with the 11th pick and trade him for the Blazers' 1999 first-round pick Ñ a steal for the Blazers talentwise.
1999: Trades Isaiah Rider and Jimmy Jackson to Atlanta for Steve Smith and Ed Gray. Unloading Rider probably makes this Whitsitt's greatest deal.
2002: Convinces Shawn Kemp to agree to buyout of contract, though not at terms as low as the numbers Whitsitt slips to the media. Kemp, due $46.5 million his final two seasons, winds up with about $31 million of it and his release.
1995: Trades Clyde Drexler and Tracy Murray to Houston for Otis Thorpe, the draft rights to Marcelo Nicola and a first-round pick. Trade the pick to Detroit and wind up trading Thorpe for Randolph Childress and Bill Curley. Drexler teams with Hakeem Olajuwon to lead the Rockets to the NBA championship that spring. Thorpe and Childress play a combined 81 games for Portland over the next two years. Nicola and Curley never play a minute.
1996: Trades James Robinson, Curley and a first-round pick to Minnesota for Isaiah Rider. Rider leads Portland in scoring and unseemly incidents in his three seasons in a Portland uniform.
1998: Removes broadcasting legend Bill Schonely from his radio play-by-play job after 28 seasons, despite a mass protest from fans. Schonely leaves without any send-off by the club.
2000: Trades Brian Grant to Miami and acquires Shawn Kemp from Cleveland as part of a three-way deal. One of the worst deals in NBA history. Overweight, out of shape and drug-saddled, Kemp winds up in league's rehab program while Blazers are paying him one of league's top five salaries.
2000: Trades Jermaine O'Neal to Indiana for Dale Davis. Davis gives Portland veteran presence and solid play inside. O'Neal becomes one of top 10 players in the game.
2001: Signs Ruben Patterson to a six-year, $34-million free-agent contract shortly after the forward enters a modified-guilty plea for rape of his family's nanny in Seattle. A week before that incident, Patterson is charged with felony assault for breaking a man's jaw outside a bar in Cleveland. This season, Patterson is charged with spousal assault after an incident at home with his wife.
Ñ Kerry Eggers