Blazers Win!

The NBA Draft, that is. We pulled off the improbable, getting the first pick in the draft.

So, what to do with it? Take Kevin Durant, or Greg Oden?

Or pack it with a player (like Zach, maybe) for somebody awesome?

Let’s hear your ideas…

16 Comments so far

  1. Stu Holdren (unregistered) on May 22nd, 2007 @ 7:58 pm

    Common thought is to take Oden, and I think that is the right one. Especially if you can move Zach for a veteran SF (Rashard Lewis, Richard Jefferson, Luol Dent, etc.) Either way, the Blazers will have a monster lineup next season.


  2. TKrueg (unregistered) on May 22nd, 2007 @ 10:30 pm

    Okay… I called it. Just like I called Warriors over Mavs. Seriously, I just had the -sure feeling- about a month ago that they’d pull at least a top 2. En fuego…

    Seriously, this does change everything. Quickly. All of a sudden, the blazers have OPTIONS. Even at the #6 spot, the team had plenty trade-able talent to take another step forward next year. Now? Now they can afford to pull blockbusters. Any combination, with or without the draft picks. Between two teams or six.

    Or… there is no or. I want to say, badly, ‘don’t break up the band’. But logjams have put serviceable players at the end of the Blazers bench already. Pryzbilla, Magloire, Zach, Aldridge, Lafrenz and Oden? -or- Martell, Outlaw, Miles, Ime, and Durant? (Martell is developing a Kersey-like physique/game… I’m convinced he’s got big upside as he’s still growing and young, but I’m afraid coming out of H.S. hurt his confidence, maybe permanently). Whomever they pick, they’ll need to move at least two.

    Oden has big upside, but I’m concerned he doesn’t have the lungs or stamina to handle the jump to a 82 game season. He looked ever-‘winded’ in the tournament, even flatfooted against Florida. And what, he JUST NOW developed a close range shot? In a slow-down offense, he would be a beast. Like I said, upside, but with overlooked risk.

    The Blazers are at a turning point: do they want to be a Phoenix style team, a San Antonio type team, an ’04 Pistons team, or 1990’s Bulls-like in composition? The first question is, run and gun or grind it out? Go Oden, you need to look at the wallace-and-wallace era Pistons and San Antonio for inspiration. Go Durant, and this Jordan-Garnett hybrid would make a front-line like Aldridge/Randolph or Aldridge/Outlaw look unstoppable with Sergio and Roy in the backcourt, though lacking low-post muscle… somewhat like Phoenix and the old Bulls teams.

    I’m really torn. But though I hate the Spurs, I think they’ve put together a consistently GOOD team for nearly 10 years straight. Twin Towers era or current era, Duncan has been the best player in that span. I see a lot of Duncan in Aldridge, and Oden would give L.A. flexibility to showcase his inside and surprising mid-range game. Ditto Outlaw. Ditto Martell. Imagine Roy coming off those picks… Sergio playing a Tony Parker-like style. Imagine the bench. This could be like the Spurs on Steroids in two years flat.

    All of a sudden, the ground under Portland is shaking… the city and the Blazers are back, we just took a 7 year hiatus, that’s all.


  3. The Guilty Carnivore (unregistered) on May 22nd, 2007 @ 10:35 pm

    You have to take Oden and let the chips fall where they may. If Oden turns out to become King Shit of Fuck Mountain somewhere else I’m not sure the city of Portland will be able to awake from the collective malaise of losing Jordan and this guy (not to mention Jermain O’Neal).

    Give away Zach (and his contract) for a role player that fits, use the additional free cap to shore up a veteran backup big man or point guard, and ride that youth train for all it’s worth.


  4. DR (unregistered) on May 22nd, 2007 @ 11:49 pm

    Oden. Without a doubt. If he happens to turn out a bust, the Blazers will just move to Seattle and that will be the bigger story anyway…..

    …Think of all the season tickets and nationally televised games Oden brings.

    You want a prediction? Let’s see the Friday (or maybe weekend) Oregonian article talking about “3,000 – 6,000 seasont tickets that the Blazers sold in the past few days since getting the #1”

    Mark it down on your calendars, that story will be written in the O, the Trib AND the WW and I think several thousand season tickets will be sold within the next 7 days….!!

    It really is awesome that they got this. For some real comic relief (aka, laughing at someone else’s misery), check out this article that came out this morning, pre-lottery, and BE SURE to check back Wed/Thurs. for psot lottery column/lamenting:

    Tues am (pre-lottery): http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/070522&sportCat=nba


  5. Rusty (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:04 am

    Good comments.

    I think you take Oden. He’s not league-ready yet physically, which is the downside. But he’ll show himself to be an All-Star by year three, which is way upside. And with the momentum we’re building, the league won’t be able to slough us off at All-Star time anymore.

    What do you do next is, I guess, the biggest question. I think you have to move Zach. We need to let the core of Aldridge, Oden, and Brandon, with whoever ends up being here at SF (Lewis in a sign-and-trade? Outlaw? Webster?) getting to log time, build confidence, and sink-or-swim (at least in the case of Outlaw or Webster). I agree with TKrueg that Webster still has huge upside, but I fear that it’s the kind that’ll never be realized if he stays in a Blazers uniform. I think he may need a change of scenery so that he can become the player he’s able to be.

    The issue continues to be whether you can get value for Z-Bo. On-court he’s a monster and worth the money he’s paid. Off-court he’s a liability (TK, we’ll agree to disagree on this one). Luckily we have three 2nd round draft picks that we really don’t need in this draft (we have our nucleus), so we can probably package a couple of those with Zach and a mystery player to get the veteran ace we’re looking for.

    Thank God Pritchard’s here is all I can say. I’m (pretty) confident he won’t pull a Sam Bowie on us. But, like most loyal Blazer fans, I’m always ready to be sickened.

    However, I really feel the momentum. I think we hit the play-offs this year. And, if we don’t, I think we’ll see some developments on the court, and off the court, that will bring even the most jaded ex-fans back to the table…


  6. warner (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 9:21 am

    You’ve got to take Oden. TK, you made your own case towards the end of your post. And even though people like to say the trend in the NBA is going “small” and “fast”, look at the teams left in the playoffs. Detroit, San Antonio, Utah, all play “big” and “defense first”. Even Cleveland is more like that. So, go with the big man, hope he improves like Dwight Howard has, and then go get a decent veteran small forward. Zach? If you can move him for close to value, do it. The team will be really fun to watch the next couple of years. Hurray for the city of Portland!


  7. PDXJer (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 10:32 am

    Looking back, it may have been one of the worst moments of my life. The Portland Trailblazers, down 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals, come surging back to tie the series 3-3. They take a 15 point lead into the fourth quarter – only to see it dissolve. I will never forget the shot of Shaquille O’Neal running across court after having taken the lead, with his mouth wide-open and his finger thrust in the air. (The same feeling I got when Danny Young sank the three pointer at the buzzer from half court to tie the game in Game 4 of the 1990 Finals, and have the officials not count it)

    After that, the team dissolved, and the Portland Jail Blazers were born. I still watched, I went to the games. It took a while, actually. The idea of being able to walk to the Rose Quarter and buy a ticket and walk into a game took some getting used to. Blazer tickets were something that only people who knew people got.

    In 2006, a stellar showing in the draft, (even though we got the same deal Boston got this year) started to turn things around. This year, before the lottery, I played the ESPN Lottery Simulator until the Blazers won, a very slim chance at 5.3%. I took a screen shot, printed it out, and took it home as my lucky charm. An hour later, I was dancing around the room, like an idiot, with “Rip City – Rap City” racing through my head.

    What a great day! He’s to the very bright future of the Portland Trailblazers!

    GO BLAZERS!

    Oh – And my pick – Oden


  8. chad (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 11:08 am

    Here is what the Blazers need to do this offseason. There’s two simple moves that could turn us into championship contenders, not just a playoff team.

    Take Greg Oden with the first pick.

    Trade Zach Randolph to the New Jersey Nets for Richard Jefferson at Small Forward.

    That makes our lineup:

    Jarrett Jack
    Brandon Roy
    Richard Jefferson
    LaMarcus Aldridge
    Greg Oden

    Randolph and Jefferson have comparable salaries, and they are both the same wage – 26, which is relatively young. Jefferson has major playoff experience, including playing in the finals with the Nets. For their part, the Nets are desperate for low-post scoring, and if there is one thing Randolph can provide it’s scoring in the post.


  9. Rusty (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 11:13 am

    Chad:

    Intriguing. The one thing that’s been bugging me all day is the issue with a sign-and-trade with Seattle for Lewis. The issue: it puts Randolph in our division, and guarantees us several chances to be wailed on by him every year.

    Maybe they balance eachother out. But, really, wouldn’t you rather he go east somewhere, where we see him twice a year instead?

    So maybe your trade idea solves my internal quandary…


  10. Rusty (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 11:19 am

    By the way, an interesting article that says, statistically, the #1 draft pick will score the Blazers an extra $6,000,000 in revenue and an 11-game surge statistically, which should put us into the play-offs.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/18811249

    Of course, statistics lie. Damned statistics.


  11. TKrueg (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 11:44 am

    The possibility of trading with Seattle bugs me too… but damn, wouldn’t this be the start of a nasty, fun I-5 rivalry we’ve never really had? For years, the Lakers-Blazers matchups had this intangible competitiveness that made them public enemy #1. Well, they’re no longer in our division, so we’re left with distant 2nd and 3rd rivals, Utah and Seattle. If we traded Zach for Lewis, and we take Oden/they take Durant, it would launch the two teams’ fortunes together… they’re already intertwined with the Paul Allen/Roy/Martell/McMillan connection.

    On a random note, am I the only one who suddenly sees Sergio, Maglore, and possibly Jack and Zach as the odd players out? Again, so much depends on whether the Blazers strive for run and gun or grind it out. The amazing thing is, the team already has the talent to go either way. Draft day and trades will cement their direction for the next 6-8 years.


  12. warner (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 11:45 am

    I’d do the Zach for Jefferson in a New Jersey minute!


  13. chad (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 11:50 am

    Rusty,
    Everyone in Portland keeps talking about a trade for Rashard Lewis, the only problem is that the likelihood of Seattle making that deal is next to zero. The only reason why it might have an ounce of truth is that Rashard Lewis really liked playing for McMillan back when he was the Sonics coach. Right now, Seattle doesn’t even have a GM or a coach to negotiate with, and if I were the Sonics, I’d be stupid to give away a multidimensional 6-10 wing like Lewis for a one dimensional 6-9 power forward like Randolph. Imagine what the Sonics will be like with Rashard Lewis and Kevin Durant playing next to each other, two 6-10 guys who can do almost anything on the court and create match up problems all over the place.


  14. jojo (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

    Aldrige has a nice finess game, he can take PF.

    PG Jack/Serge/Dickau
    SG Roy/Ime/Jones
    SF Outlaw/Martell
    PF Aldrige
    C Oden/Pyz/Aldrige

    move Zach/Raef/Jamaal/Miles


  15. Rusty (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 1:00 pm

    Chad:

    I think Lewis’ contract is up. If we don’t have anyone to negotiate with in Seattle, same goes for him.

    Of course, Seattle has an owner, so there’s always someone able to deal.

    TK:

    Despite how enticing it might be to do a Randolph/Lewis deal to liven up the rivalry, on a team that’s trying to get competitive, like ours, the chances aren’t helped by giving another team in your division the ability to beat you. I’ve flipped Z-Bo alot of crap, but the fact is he’s a baller on the court and the blow-back from putting him on another team’s roster needs to be respected as we deal.

    I don’t think Magloire was realistically ever coming back. I can see us moving Sergio or Jack, but not both. And, really, I don’t see a pressing need to move either right now. Jack’s evolving into a veteran presence, at least relative to the rest of the team, and Sergio needs another season or so before we fully hand him the keys to the franchise.

    Jojo:

    I don’t like putting all the eggs for any position in one basket, even Aldridge’s. He’s already had to have a shoulder surgery and a heart surgery. That doesn’t make him injury prone, but it shows you that despite his much-respected work ethic, he’s human. And we can’t move Miles. Noone would take him. We just need to hope he hangs up his jersey and takes the money and walks away.

    I see the line-up this way:

    PG: Jack/Sergio/Roy

    SG: Roy/Ime/Jones/Outlaw

    SF: Player-to-be-named-after-trade#1/Outlaw/Martell

    PF: Aldridge/Player-to-be-named-after-trade#2/Outlaw

    C: Oden/Pryz/Aldridge

    That’s an 11-man roster. Almost full. I see a versatile 2/3 guy in our future. Low budget role-player reserve type, along with whoever we get in the Z-Bo/draft pick sweepstakes. Magloire simply won’t be renewed, Raef is hard to move but I don’t see how he fits in our future, so they’ll figure something out.

    My thoughts, for what they’re worth.


  16. jojo (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

    Rusty,
    I like your line up. I agree we need to fortify our SF and PF position.
    The reason I put Aldridge at PF above is because a lot of non Portlanders think he couldn’t play with Oden. I see this kind of comments on thesportingnews.com. But for us Blazer fans, we’ve seen what a nice shooting touch he has and he is not really a bang it out kind of guy so he’d fit in nicely with Oden at Center.



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