May 03

ESPN Offers Differing Opinions On Portland's Draft Strategy

By caseyholdahl Posted in: 2012draft, draft2012, LaMarcusAldridge, NicolasBatum
It's unlikely this year's post-draft press conference features so many rookies

Draft news is still a bit light thanks to the first round of the 2012 playoffs, but there are a few tidbits here and there worth noting.

• During an chat on May 2, Chad Ford takes a question regarding which teams might be interested in moving up a few spots. He suggests the Trail Blazers might be among that group.
Joe (DC)
I guess this is tough to answer without the lottery happening but who will be looking to move up or down via trades?

Chad Ford  (1:08 PM)
I think most GMs see a clear break after the No. 5. I could see a team like Portland perhaps trying to package 6 and 11 to get up higher. I think Brad Beal would make a lot of sense for them.
This flies in the face of Chad Buchanan's statement during Monday's edition of Courtside that the team is more interested in using their picks to acquire veterans than they are in moving up. I mean, if No. 6 and No. 11 gets you to No. 1, then yeah, the Trail Blazers are moving up. But outside of that scenario, I can't see a way the team uses both picks (assuming the Nets don't win the lottery) to move up a couple of spots. I suppose if the front office thinks Beal is the next Russell Westbrook, then maybe they'd make a play to move up, but even then, I have serious doubts.

• And I'm not the only one who thinks Ford's might be mistaken. John Hollinger, colleague of Chad Ford and and part-time Portland resident, must have watched the stream of Courtside this week, as he reiterates in a chat on what Buchanan stated adamantly: the Trail Blazers are much more interested in acquiring quality veterans than unproven rookies.
Will Portland package it's picks? If so for a proven player or to move up in the draft?

John Hollinger (12:52 PM)
Every indication is that the Blazers want to use their picks in a trade to get some immediate help, and then dive into free agency, and then at the end of all that re-sign Batum. They aren't interested in rebuilding while they have an All-Star power forward in his prime.
That last sentence pretty much sums up the team's approach to the 2012 offseason.


  1. Hey Casey; I believe that we are going to go for a key player or two through trade and free agency. If it takes all four of our draft pick, two in the second round and like you assuming that NJ pick doesn't yield a top three, that is what they plan to do. LaMarcus is ready now. not three years from now. Of course if we can get Dragic with a good contract offer from FA, we could still go after a PG in the Draft for Depth. If we can get Lopez through free agency although Phoenix said they would match any reasonable offer, then we could use both our picks for depth. Nevertheless, I believe they are planning on a juicy trade or two.

    by Hg on 5/3/2012 2:03 PM
  2. I think we'll make a pick, but it won't be until the second round. I read something today that said there will be quality, serviceable NBA players available well into the second round.

    by caseyholdahl on 5/3/2012 2:05 PM
  3. Thank you for that Casey, that would give us players that we need now and build up the depth. I can't help feeling that D Williams is in our sights with Chad saying that he can't help it if a friend of Wesley Matthews talks to a all star PG. This be the time of year for dreaming LOL.

    by Hg on 5/3/2012 2:11 PM
  4. dragic fro back and eric gordon is got my vote, he young primed and ready dragic can easily take over if theres still injury problems on gordon, no way on lopez unles the deal is good, man lacks a lot fo skills to be a starter btu quality for back up role, if lopez is the key target i say start hickson

    by jamie (guy) on 5/3/2012 3:51 PM
  5. Ever since the GW trade, my gut has told me they will do everything they can to package those picks in a trade. The only thing that prevents that I think is a deal just not being able to be worked out with the teams/players they have targeted. I think Deron Williams in absolutely in their sights, but his status cannot even be discussed until July 1, so I think the most likely target for a trade is a Center. Why trade for a PG, if you are going for the big kahuna in FA? In addition, the most attractive starting Centers who are FAs are either quite valuable to their teams (Hibbert) or are RFAs (like Lopez).

    When it comes to trades, only a player already under contract for NEXT season can be traded, right Casey? So no RFAs or FAs of course. This also limits Portland's trade bait to LA, Wesley, Luke, Nolan, Elliot, and Kurt Thomas, correct? So, I'm guessing if a trade IS made, it will be for the picks and cash, though I do realize Wesley is probably the most attractive piece and would be movable (hopefully his regression in play keeps him here, haha!)

    Really looking forward to seeing how it all pans out!

    by SisillaRiann on 5/3/2012 5:00 PM
  6. Casey, I agree with you about the picks being traded in the 1st round. I think people forget sometimes how much talent we have on this team. Especially if we sign JJ and resign Batum. I think it's impossible to gadge what deals will transpire as long as we have a question mark at the coaching position. Meshing a point guard with a coach is essential. I think the Blazers probably know exactly who they are targeting but with many different scenarios which is why we need a coach in place ASAP. I really hope LaMarcus is heavily involved in these discussions. As far as I'm concerned a happy LaMarcus is a succesful Blazer team. He said he loved Amundson's, Millsap and Hicksons games. He is a Nash fan for sure and if he wants DWill and they are actually buddies, I'll swallow my hesitations about him and welcome him. Andre Miller was also on Chads list and though he's not young, he's an iron man that misses very few games. Keepers for me are LA, Nico, Elliot, Hickson, Pryz (off the bench) and I'm probably alone in this but Rhino is on my list. He could backup JJ and LA..Thomas I'd probably package in a trade. Center, true center is a big question mark. Al Jefferson would work for me. The guy in England I know nothing about except that he's 6'10 and apparently pretty stout.

    by riverman on 5/4/2012 4:41 PM
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