Travis Outlaw played the fourth most minutes of any player on the 54-win Blazers last year. The team frequently turned to him at the end of games when Brandon Roy was doubled. He's gotten progressively better every season he's been in the league. He works his ass off. Everyone on the team loves him.
Yet the brass still actively pursued Turkoglu and Millsap, throwing more money at those guys than Trout could ever dream of. Pritchard is probably on the phone right now trying to deal him for a mediocre backup PF.
His defense, mostly. Plus, he's been known to take some really bad shots. And with the addition of Andre Miller, one of the deepest teams in the league just got deeper. Dividing up all those minutes is nigh impossible, and people have really tried.
So what's next for Outlaw? Does he continue his upward trend or get buried on the bench behind Portland's glut of wings? Most Blazer fans would prefer the latter. He's become somewhat of a whipping boy, which is a stark contrast from the pre-Brandon era when he was a fan favorite and one of the team's few bright spots (no disrespect to Darius Miles, Zach Randolph and Ruben Patterson- ahem).
In a recent Tweet, Outlaw maintained a positive perspective: "I love all the doubt and negativity...feeding it all to the motivational flames. Keep it coming."
Somehow I don't think that'll be a problem.