Found June 16, 2012 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
With The _ Overall Pick, The Portland Trail Blazers Select…

This June, the Portland Trail Blazers have a chance to rebuild and get back into the thick of the Western Conference playoff hunt as quickly as next season.

That is of course if they play their cards right.

Holding two top fifteen picks (#6 and #11) as well as a pair of back to back second round selections, the TrailBlazers can bring in two young players that provide an impact from the jump.

Notebook Of Needs

The Blazers are in desperate need of a young big man who can patrol the paint defensively and also provide an offensive presence to take the scoring pressure off of LaMarcus Aldridge.

A future starting point guard is also needed.  Ray Felton fell out of favor last season and while he bounced back to the starting lineup, the Blazers will probably only use him as a tutor for an incoming floor general.  Unfortunately for the Blazers, this draft class is thin of impact point guards and heavy at the hybrid SG/SF and SF/PF spots.

As for a backup at the small forward spot, this could be the direction Portland goes.  Although Luke Babbitt has proven to be serviceable, there is certainly a better option available with either of their first round selections.

Pick Options

#6 – With Anthony Davis off the boards followed quickly by Thomas Robinson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who are both too talented to be bypassed with the second and third picks, the Blazers hope that the Cavaliers and the Kings let Andre Drummond slip to the sixth pick.

While his freshman season at UConn didn’t set the world on fire as expected, Drummond is only 18 years old and has a world of potential to match his athleticism.

If Drummond gets picked up in the top five, then look for the Blazers to use their early pick on Jared Sullinger.  Holding off on entering the draft after his freshman season, Sullinger posted another solid stat line for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Although undersized for the center spot at only 6’9″, the junk in his trunk will alow him to battle the league’s other big men which other than Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, are becoming obsolete.

 2012 NBA draft: Portland Trail Blazers mock draft board & predictions

Steve says this man, Andre Drummond of UConn hopefully drops so the Blazers can pick him up with the 6th pick in the draft.

#11 – The Blazers have a ton of options on how to spend the 11th pick.  Right now Damien Lillard is the top point guard in the draft.

If the Raptors don’t bite on him as a replacement for Jose Calderon and the Hornets would rather a veteran point guard distribute the ball, look for the Blazers to pound on him quicker than Big Country Reeves on a bucket of KFC.

The unfortunate reality is that Lillard shouldn’t be available, so plan B is to pick up North Carolina product Kendall Marshall.

Whereas Lillard is a scoring point guard who posted an average of 24 points and 4 assists in his final season at Weber State, Marshall is more of a distributing floor general, hitting for an average of 8 points and nearly 10 dimes a night.

If neither point guard is available, look for the Blazers to put a team hat on Perry Jones or Washington Husky Terrence Ross, who has been impressive in all his pre-draft workouts.

#40 – If the Blazers grab their point guard at 11, picking up an experienced big man such as Michigan State power forward Draymond Green could end up being a key component to their quick rebuilding process.

Playing the role of unfortunate “tweener”, Green must learn to transfer playing the four spot in college to an undersized power forward in the pros or quickly develop an outside game to compete as a small forward.

Where his physical skills may lack to start, Green has proven during his four year tenure at Michigan State to be the consummate professional.

Unfortunately for Seattle native and former Washington Husky Tony Wroten, his draft stock seems to be dropping faster than Facebook stock.

While Wroten has the chance to be a solid professional, the reality of being a non-guaranteed contract in the second round may be the wake up call that Wroten needs to show his worth.

#41 – With their final pick in the draft, look for the Blazers to lock down a potential combo player at the SG/SF or SF/PF spot.  Marquette forward Jae Crowder fits into this spot perfectly and like Draymond Green, his four year experience in the NCAA’s can only prove to be a valuable experience at the pro level.

Crowder reminds some of this year’s NBA surprise rookie gem Kenneth Faried.  If still available this late in the night, the Blazers would certainly walk away from the draft with a steal.


© Steve Lee for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

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Post tags: 2012 NBA Draft Predictions, Andre Drummond, Anthony Davis, Blazers Blog, Damien Lillard, Draft picks, Draymond Green, Jae Crowder, Jared Sullinger, Kendall Marshall, LaMarcus Aldridge, Luke Babbitt, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Michigan State, Mock Draft, NCAA, Ohio State Buckeyes, Perry Jones, Portland Trail Blazers, Ray Felton, Terrence Ross, Thomas Robinson, Tony Wroten, Trail Blazers Draft Predictions, Trailblazers blog, UCONN, Washington Husky


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