Blazers Already Actively Dominating the Draft
Posted by r1zzo23 on June 25, 2008
After making a record amount of trades (and purchases) in last year’s draft, the Portland Trailblazers are at it again. Already with a first round selection (#13 overall) and two second round picks at their disposal, the Blazers make another Kevin Pritchard-esque move and buy New Orlean’s first round selection, #27 overall. Portland made this same move last year on draft night with the Phoenix Suns. The Blazers in turn received the draft rights to Spanish guard, Rudy Fernandez. With another year of dominating his competition overseas, he is ready to dawn the red and black of the Portland Trailblazers.
Looking at it from New Orleans’ point of view, this is baffling. They could use help at shooting guard, power forward and center. At #27, there could be a great option for all three of those positions. Players like Chris Douglas-Roberts, Bill Walker or Courtney Lee could be there to fill their need at shooting guard. DeVon Hardin, Ryan Anderson, JJ Hickson and Nathan Jawai could all add some beef at the power forward position for the Big Easy. Heck, there are talks of Roy Hibbert falling, so he could be a choice for them as well. If I were a Hornets fan, I would be very skeptical about our front office and whether or not this was a deal to just save money, especially when the team is perhaps one piece away from competing for a title.
With all that said, the Blazers are in prime position to be wheeling and dealing all night. It makes even more sense now that they could deal their #13 pick, probably to Phoenix for Barbosa. They would then be adding Barbosa and Fernandez to their roster, while probably losing a player like Martell Webster to the Suns in the process. I would expect them to take a European player for the pick the stole… er, bought from the Hornets and stashing him overseas for a season or two, just like they did with Fernandez and Petteri Koponen last year. Their three second round picks could all be packaged together to try to move up to an early second round pick to select another international project to stash away.
Over the past two years, it doesn’t seem that any team dominates the draft quite like Portland. Give a lot of that credit to GM Kevin Pritchard as he is not afraid to make drastic changes, draft day trades or purchases to better his franchise. Should be exciting to see this young team come together this season with Greg Oden returning to the hardwood.