SLAM Has Portland Taking Bledsoe #22
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  1. DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 06/14/2010 2:56 PM

    From SLAM-

     Given the trail of woe the Blazers burnished last season, sticking to Kevin Pritchard’s best-left NBA Draft philosophy makes the most sense. As top front office assistant Chad Buchanan succinctly put it, “our needs in 6 months may be different from our needs now.” Rose Garden denizens pray a trembling storm of injury will stay far from their door; they pray Nate McMillan won’t have to pull another 50 victories from his hat.

    Whether the Blazers draft for trade considerations or for an immediate contribution to next year’s lineup, they will pick the best remaining player in the draft pool and develop their strategy from there. Because the Trail Blazers needs are varied, as noted by Buchanan, the options of choosing a point guard or a small forward or a 7-footer remain equally viable.

    If the Blazers draft big, their new center would make the deep frontcourt of Oden, Przybilla, and Camby nearly fathomless. They would then be able either to trade a big man for another piece while remaining strong in the paint or mount one of the most formidable frontcourts in the game. In the post, the Blazers could improve their offensive rebounding and defensive acuity by picking up either Solomon Alabi or Larry Sanders.

    If the Blazers draft small, they could bolster the point guard, granting Andre Miller his long-awaited heir. That young squire would not only benefit from Miller’s tutelage (imagine an athletically gifted youngster with the court-read of elder Miller), he would reduce Miller’s minutes, ensuring that the master of the basic game (Cam’ron) could steward his squad in to summer. With the addition of a three, especially a sharp shooter, they could then ship a stock-sunk Rudy Fernandez and still have several scorers coming off the bench. If Fernandez is retained, then he may feel some extra pressure to perform.

    Given all this…

    With the 22nd pick in the 2010 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select…

    Eric Bledsoe from the University of Kentucky.

    Beldsoe is the best remaining player in the SLAMonline Mock Draft. He is also the best match for Portland’s needs and Rose Garden style. His highly rated athleticism, slashing style, and strong finishing potentially make him a perfect match for Portland’s roster. He will form a nice counterpart to Miller’s slow-and-steady game while benefiting greatly from Miller’s example and from the teachings of Nate McMillan. In the best-case scenario, he could, after one season cutting his teeth, take the elder guard’s place as the fifth starter. Pritchard’s dream roster would then be a reality. Of course, given some of his troubles and unknowns, he could also signal a return to the less-glorious regions of Blazer past.

    Beldsoe is a strong finisher with a strong, solid frame. At 19, he is still growing. His speed and leaping ability trail only just behind John Wall’s. His counterpart in the backcourt attracted such attention that he played outside the focus of many scouts and fans during the season, but at the Draft combines he has proven what several knew all along: he is an NBA caliber athlete.


    While I don't think he fills the biggest need, I'm all for grabbing the best player available. And even if he duplicates Bayless a little bit, both can play either backcourt position and he does have a very high ceiling and wouldn't be called up to be the savior immediately.  What say you?
    I am a fan of
  1. ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 06/14/2010 3:13 PM

    Seems like a lot of these UK guys are boom or bust. Cousins, Bledsoe, and Orton could all turn out to be excellent players or they could be a product of their hype. At 22, I don't think it'd be a bad pick, but I'm still holding out hope we can move up and get that bruising power forward. Also, I like Jerome Randle better as a PG prospect anyways, and we may be able to get him in the 2nd round.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
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