Zebo > Aldridge is understandable. He's an all-star player that has proven he can match up against anyone at the 4.
It definitely isn't fair to say Conley runs a team any better than Bayless does, considering Bayless has hardly had any burn running the first team thus far in his career. Not to mention Conley has been sub-par in his attempt at running the Grizz. Without Zebo, that team is still feeding off the bottom of the West with the Warriors, Kings, and the Griffinless Clips.
It's safe to say that the Blazers have the 2nd best core considering that core of young players has advanced the deepest in to the playoffs (judging by the # of playoff appearances in the tougher conference of the NBA) of all the 5 teams mentioned.
In reality, the best two teams for the future are the Magic, and the Lakers. You seem to have strayed from your original argument that Chris Mullin is the right man for the job, and I think it's safe to say he's not. You say you'll take wins over potential anyday, but Chris Mullin is the one who hasn't won ****, and is out of a job...not Kevin Pritchard. If you were arguing to bring in Mitch Kupchack or Otis Smith then your argument of Winning > Potential would be more than valid. The league is about winning championships. However, Mullin, or any of the young teams in the NBA aside from the Thunder have had any more (or equal) success than the Blazers have had over the past few years so your argument for bringing a winner is flawed...considering you are lobbying for Mullin > Pritchard.
Btw..if you say NONE of the NBA's elite are leaving anytime soon, then why wouldn't Rudy Gay leave to be overpaid a team like the Knicks, Nets, Wolves or Wizards? He'll have a lot of interest around the league and I bet you Mike Wallace doesn't open up the check book if Gay gets close to the max from a desperate team.
Aldridge is just not a particularly well rounded player. He shoots too many jumpers while not being particularly effective in the post on either end. At least Lee who sucks at post d makes up for it with excellent post offense. Same for Zach Randolph. Same for Carlos Boozer. Same for David West, Jamison (pre cavs), hell I'd even take Josh Smith over Aldridge.
Aldridge should be a good shotblocker/rebounder but isn't, should be good at post d/o but isn't. If he was actually a 20/10 player I would agree with you but he isn't. He isn't a bad player but he isn't up among the elite PF's of the league.
Edit- Just for the sake of it...
PFs who are or are arguably better than Aldridge in no particular order:
List of C's who are/are arguably better than Gasol:
Last edited by smokes; May 05, 2010 at 22:46.
P.S.- I would argue that Aldridge is better than Love, Murphy, and Scola,and Gasol is better than Noah.
Quite sad actually, since Portland are well reputed for having an electric crowd atmosphere. Remember the days of Mighty Mouse, Pippen, Grant, Smith etc?