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Five pretender-to-contender trades

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NOTE: This is an ESPN Insider article. However, one of the 5 suggested trades involves the Warriors dealing Monta Ellis to Portland. Here's the details: "Portland Trail Blazers - Current TR championship odds: 3.7 percent TeamRankings.com's Power Ratings have Portland as the third-best team in the West, making them dark horse contenders as is. LaMarcus Aldridge is a bona fide star, but could use some consistent scoring help from the wings. Jamal Crawford was brought in to do that, but his 36.1 FG percentage does far more harm than good. Needs: Brandon Roy and Greg Oden are clearly missed, because the Blazers' biggest holes are consistent wing scoring and a young big man. Marcus Camby still provides strong defense down low, though, so getting an offensive upgrade at shooting guard might be more important. Assets: Wesley Matthews and Nic Batum are above-average youngsters who could fit in on many teams. The trade: Matthews and Camby to Golden State for Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins This is a downgrade at center and a worse contract for Portland. To give itself a realistic chance to win, however, Portland needs to take a risk on somebody like Ellis. A little shot-selection coaching and some encouraging on the defensive end would really improve his game, and he has much more scoring talent than Matthews or even Crawford. This trade builds a team that can push the pace with small ball, something with which it already has success. Ray Allen and J.J. Redick could also add the kind of offense the Trail Blazers need." - Austin Link, ESPN
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