In coming days i will post other list of potential breakout players, but Batum deserve his own post, because i think he is one of the most underrated players in the League. There are many “expert” that aren’t high on him, especially the many believers of advanced statistics. What I think about these statistics is a topic that deserves a separate post, but in this post is certainly fair to say that each of these various formulas do not in any way reflect the real value of Batum. During his years in Portland coach McMillan relegated him always in one of the two corners on offense, where Batum could not do anything but look at the various Roy, Aldridge and Felton (!!), he was utilised basically as spot-up shooter. Instead during the period before the end of the lockout, Batum has played a series of games with Nancy, in Euroleague, where he was used both as scorer and facilitator on the wing in a system that gave him every freedom to run and make decisions. In Euroleague he won several “player of the week” and collected many points, rebounds and assists .Probably began in France in those days his bad mood to the Trail Blazers, then culminated in the signing of the contract offered by Minnesota. Batum is clearly a player best suited for a Run and Gun System like that of the T-Wolf, where waiting for him with open arms Aldeman coach and Ricky Rubio.
In Portland now there is a new coach, Terry Stotts, who has a good reputation and was seen as the main proponent of the offensive schemes that led the Mavericks to the title. If Stotts raise the pace of the Blazers’s offense, Batum will surely meet the sky high expectations of the fans, especially after the extension this offseason. In a new system, where he is best suited to play, he could get All Star considerations without a doubt.
And without a doubt Neil Oshley has in Aldridge, rookie Lillard and Batum three very good building blocks to start a new era in Portland.