Decoded: Blazers Could Have Had Kobe, Garnett or Pierce for Oden Pick

In Sunday’s Oregonian, Blazers’ beat writer Jason Quick cryptically refers to three pre-draft trades the Blazers could have made that would have swapped their Number 1 draft pick for established NBA stars, and other team’s draft selections.

Wanting not to get into specifics, Quick refers to these players by describing their accomplishments but not revealing their names. Yet Quick provides enough info about each of these alternatives that determining the names of these players can be accomplished by just a bit of online research.

Come along as I unmask who the Blazers could have gotten if they had (unwisely) determined to deal the pick.

Quick writes:

“As he (Blazers’ gm Kevin Pritchard) drove to Eugene to watch a play with his daughter on May 23, less than 24 hours after winning the lottery, Pritchard took a call from an Eastern Conference general manager, with whom he had past dealings.

“The executive made an offer that was moderate in shock value: A five-time All-Star and this year’s lottery pick in exchange for the No. 1 pick and the Blazers’ 2008 first-round pick.

The player had to have been::

Paul Pierce, the explosive small forward of the Boston Celtics. We know this because of all the players on Eastern Conference lottery teams, Pierce is the only five-time All-Star.

Quick writes:

“A team within the Blazers division proposed a trade involving a future Hall of Famer and a standout rookie for the Blazers’ No. 1 pick.”

The player had to have been::

Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Lookiing at the rosters of the other teams in the Blazers’ division (Utah, Denver, Minnesota and Seattle)- only two Hall of Famers emerge. That would be Allen Iverson of Denver and Kevin Garnett of Minnesota. Not only has Garnett asked to be traded, but the real clue here is Jason’s “standout rookie” designation. No rookie on the Denver Nuggets was selected to the first or second-team NBA Rookie All-Star Team. Yet, shooting guard Randy Foye of the Timberwolves was selected to the NBA Rookie-First Team, receiving the third-most amount of votes.

And finally:

Jason Quick writes:

Pritchard that morning was approached by a general manager of a Western Conference power.

With bright lights illuminating the court below, Pritchard sat in a darkened corner with the general manager. The general manager wanted the Blazers’ No. 1 pick. And he was willing to offer a player that will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

The player had to have been:

Kobe Bryant. There are other possible “first-ballot Hall of Famers” in the Western Conference (Steve Nash, Allen Iverson, Dirk Nowitski, Tim Duncan- but none of these three has been mentioned as trade bait. Fresh off their second consecutive league title, the Spurs will not trade Duncan. Nash and Nowitski are the core and spirit of their teams and the Denver Nuggets cannot be considered a “power.” But a Western Conference “power” with an unhappy superstar who is asking to be traded even now? The Los Angeles Lakers, and Kobe.

3 Comments so far

  1. Rusty (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 9:55 am

    I’m glad someone did some digging. I read the article yesterday and was puzzling over it, then got assigned some house-cleaning duties and never got to looking into it any further.

    Nice piece, Russ.


  2. sleepy (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 10:39 am

    Very nice work, indeed. This was funnily written and I’m glad the code has been cracked.


  3. Julian Chadwick (unregistered) on July 2nd, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

    “The executive made an offer that was moderate in shock value: A five-time All-Star and this year’s lottery pick in exchange for the No. 1 pick and the Blazers’ 2008 first-round pick.”

    Wow…Danny Ainge really is clueless. Why would anyone make that trade for Paul Pierce?



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