It's a Matter of Trust
By Kassandra Posted in: Blazers
We all have our own ideas of what our team should do in this Thursday's NBA draft.
In fact, if you're looking at the big picture of this retooling, your
outlook might just be different from everyone else in the BlazerNation.
Sure, you may see similarities between your plan and your friends', but
somewhere, out there, there's going to be at least the minute of
variations. Suffice to say, the options for the Blazers are seemingly
limitless. In other words, anything could happen.
Many say we should simply draft the best player available. Of course,
the best player available strategy can be highly subjective. You think
this player is the best; I think another player is the best, and still
another thinks yet another player is the best. It goes without saying
that the Blazer draft braintrust is spending countless hours trying to
figure this out as well. Simply put, best player available is in the eye
of the beholder.
What if when our respective picks come up, there are basically two best
players available? Who do we pick then? Who decides? What if one of the
players fills a need while the other does not? Do we automatically
select the player who fills the need?
Speaking of team needs; it's no secret the largest two holes to fill are
center and point guard. There are those who feel addressing those first
with our draft picks -- primarily the lottery picks. In a draft as deep
as this year's is, players at those positions could be available when
our picks come up.
Then again, we could always trade one or both of the picks in the first
round (not to mention those two second-round picks) -- either to
position ourselves differently in the draft or to acquire another player
or two. New GM Neil Olshey has used the term "assets" to describe the
draft picks and, personally, I like that term. We can do whatever we
want with these number 6, 11, 40 and 41 selections. However, I would be
more interested in seeing us play around with the second rounders in
trade talks than sending away two lottery picks in a draft such as this
Will Neil Olshey use our picks or trade them?
In the end, we all want the same thing in this draft; and that is for
our team to end up stronger for next season. Additionally, we want to
avoid something. We don't want to make a major draft blunder.
Nearly three decades after the fact, there are those still criticizing the
taking of Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan in 1984. There are no left over
draft personnel from that draft, so we may just be safe there!
We keep hearing 20/20 hindsight from naysayers for selecting Greg Oden
over Kevin Durant.in 2007. Now, while it's plain that Durant's career
has panned out better than Oden's, it's unfair to judge a draft based on
two players' NBA experience. Neither player had played a single minute
in an NBA uniform. You can only judge them from their college
performances and, you'll be hard pressed to convince this Blazers fan
that Oden was not the best prospect in that draft. Basically, we took
the best player available who fit our largest need and, as we all know,
injuries prevented Oden from panning out for us. I chalk that up to
horrible luck rather than a draft mistake.
That being said, we certainly want to avoid something like that
happening this year. We want this draft -- and the possible trade
activities which may or may not come with it -- to create the giant
impact which will put us back on the playoff map and help to make us
championship contenders in the very near future.
We've got an experienced general manager in place and a very strong
scouting team has been working year-around. What we need is to have
trust that these people have a long-term and complete plan to take this
team where we all want it to go. We need to have trust that these people
will start with the draft, make smart trade decisions and keen free
agency pick ups. We need to trust that, with all the options available
to us, these people will make the correct decisions to take us to the
When we have fans as passionate about our team as we in the BlazerNation are, that trust can be difficult to muster.
I have my preferences in how I'd like this draft to go, which players we
select and whether to keep the picks or trade them but, I'm pretty sure
the people who make the big bucks (as well as our owner who pays those
big bucks) already have much of the plan in place. Even though I may
disagree with specific selections, I have to know they have the best
intentions in mind and in heart.
Knowing that, I trust they'll make the moves to best help our team.
One last thing: Even though I may wish for one selection or another, the
players we select will be Blazers and I will support them. That's simply my instinct and I trust
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