2010 Draft Look Ahead: December Edition
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  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/23/2009 11:21 AM


    Unfortunately, this season has not gone they way we all had expected it to, but that's life. Every month, we will rate our Top 5 prospects, based on skill, need, and realistic availability. Realistic ability is a very subjective measure, but when you have Kevin Pritchard as your GM, and all of our young talent, is anyone really impossible to obtain?



    1. PG-John Wall: Kentucky


    2. Although the only chance Portland has at landing Wall would be through another fluke win at the NBA Draft Lottery, every draft list starts and ends with Mr. Wall. As cliche as it sounds, Coach Calipari has called him the best prospect at this stage in his career he has ever coached, including Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans, which is incredible praise considering Rose is the reigning R.O.Y. and Evans is on his way.


      Wall is currently averaging 18 points and 7 assists and is the key reason why UK is ranked in the top 5 and still unbeaten. His performance at Madison Square Garden against fellow stud point guard Kemba Walker and UCONN was nothing short of spectacular. With his length and athleticism, he reminds me of Rajon Rondo with a much higher ceiling. As to be expected, he is still very raw in terms of his court vision and jump shot, but so was Rose his first season at Memphis.


    3. PF-Patrick Patterson:Kentucky


    4. As much as Trail Blazer fans wish right now that Utah did not match the offer sheet for big man Paul Millsap, we may not have to go out and spend a ton of money to get a similar, maybe better player in Patrick Patterson. As of now, he is rated #8 and #11 on Draft Express and NBADraft.net respectively and his stock could soar even higher if he continues to play at his torrid pace of 16.8 ppg and 9.6 rpg against tough competition.


      Since the days of Brian Grant, Blazer fans have yearned for a big, bruising forward to dominate the glass on the inside. Even better, Patterson is compared to Blazer great Buck Williams and the comparison was no more apparent than his performance against Indiana this past Saturday where he was a man-child on the boards by grabbing a team-high 8 offensive rebounds. Aldridge is still our power forward for now and the future, but with Outlaw's versatility, he could swing over to the small forward at times and let Patterson go to work. Right now, he is my favorite prospect in the draft.


    5. C-Cole Aldrich:Kansas


    6. With Greg Oden's health still in question and Joel Przybilla's ability to opt out of his contract this offseason, it would be foolish to not look at other centers, in case something happens. Aldrich is another player the Blazers would have to trade up to obtain, but the talent is too much to pass up on, which is why he is #3 on our board. Although he is compared by some to Brook Lopez, personally, I like to think of him as a more offensively gifted Joel Przybilla. His 7'4" wingspan allow him to be a dominant weak side shot-blocker and disrupt his opponent during man to man play.


      When you are evaluating big men, the most important thing to look for is agility and footwork. Although he has great open court speed, his lateral footwork could use some work, but I'm sure Bobby Medina could get him in shape. Even though 12 points and 10 rebounds a night don't scream top 5 pick, those stats are a little skewed as he plays on the top team in the nation at Kansas where they have weapons all over the place. What does stand out are his 3.6 blocks per game, good enough for 6th in the entire nation. There has only been one game this entire season where he hasn't tallied 3 or more blocks in.


    7. PF-Derrick Favors:Georgia Tech


    8. Favors is probably the 2nd best prospect in the entire class, and the only reason he is #4 and not #2 is based on the fact that I don't see Portland going after him whatsoever. Favors has NBA Superstar potential, but we already have a budding star in Aldridge and I don't see Favors wanting to be LA's backup. But if some reason Portland landed in the top 3 of the lottery, you take him if he is B.P.A and use him as a trading chip to get what you need.


      When it comes to Power Forwards, the big question is really, "How tall is he?" He is listed at 6'9", but even with his feakish athleticism, if he measures in an inch or and inch and a half shorter than listed, it could drop him down a few slots. From the tape I have seen on him, the NBADraft comparison to Amare Stoudamire is pretty spot on outside of his lack of a face up game. His 13.4 ppg and 8.3 rpg look nice on paper, but then you dissect the competition the Yellow Jackets have played at its cupcake city. Everyone will be able to get a much better read on him once the difficult ACC conference play heats up.


    9. SG-Willie Warren


    10. Although Portland has similar dynamic scorers in Rudy Fernandez and Jerryd Bayless, Warren could be one of the best prospects available right where Portland is drafting if they are on the cusp of the playoff race. As of now, NBADraft has him going late lottery at #14, while Draft Express has him skyrocketing up the boards all the way to #5. Warren reminds me of a much more explosive Ben Gordon who can heat up as quickly as Vinnie "The Microwave" Johnson. We all know Brandon likes to handle the ball a lot, so surrounding him with pure scorers would be an intelligent move to do. Down the road, a future 3 guard rotation of Roy, Bayless, and Warren would be lethal. Defensively, a 6'4" combo guard leaves a lot to be desired, but once Batum and Oden return in 2010, the front court defense should be on lock.


      For being a shoot-first guard, his 5.1 dimes a night are fairly impressive to along with his team-leading 19.6 ppg. If he is going to make it in the league, he must improve on his 44.2% field goal shooting and horrendous 26.8% from downtown. He very well may be a volume scorer in the NBA, but if he gets drafted by the Trail Blazers, his shots will be limited so he'll need to work on consistency. One concern I would have about pulling the trigger in regards to drafting him, is his Bonzi Wells type mentality. When Bonzi was in his first couple of seasons with the Blazers he was explosive to the hoop and never settled for the jumper. Once he found a jumper, he fell in love with it and I see a little bit of that in Warren. This team already occupies too many perimeter players and we need another Bayless/Roy who is fearless in attacking the rim.



    Players To Watch

    1. PF-Gani Lawal:Georgia Tech

    2. PF-Jarvis Varnado:Mississippi State

    3. C-DeMarcus Cousins:Kentcuky

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  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 12/23/2009 12:13 PM

    If the injuries keep piling up like they are, we dang well might be in position to win another lottery like we did in 07.....which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world ;)
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. Kim~
    Kim~
    Posts: 1137

    Posted 12/23/2009 12:58 PM

    Cole Aldrich please, unless of course we need another pointguard.
    I am a fan of scrapping !
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/23/2009 8:51 PM

    I've noticed Aldrich has slipped on some mock drafts which would be excellent for Portland. We definitely have the pieces if we had to trade up to get him. Przy and Greg would be great mentors as well.
    I love our current centers, but who knows where Greg goes from here and Joel is reaching 30..getting an insurance policy in Cole might be smart idea.

    I am a fan of
  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 12/28/2009 4:59 PM

    Now we may not get a high draft pick after all?! This season has been a roller coaster to say the least. If we finish in the top 10 of the League, I'd suspect KP to target another international player to stash overseas unless someone catches his eye and we have enough resources to acquire them. But I mean, we can't even overlook the 2nd rounders, because both Dante and Jeff are proving to be valuable players to the team so far during their young careers.


    In the 2nd round, I kind of like Luke Harongody from Notre Dame. He is a bit slow but boy can he shoot and most importantly, he leaves it all out on the floor every single night. You can NEVER have too many players like that. For anything, he would make practice a better environment for our team.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. whatinthebluehell
    whatinthebluehell
    Posts: 18

    Posted 12/29/2009 5:22 PM

    I kind of like what Pritchard does every year. Trade first round picks for future 1st round picks and second round picks, then draft foriegn players in the second round, and keep them over-seas.
    I am a fan of WINNING!
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/29/2009 5:52 PM

    Agreed. Although sooner or later, we are going to have to start bringing these guys over unless we want to field a 2nd team!
    A guy who I am really high on, but concerned about his prior/current injuries and position ability is Evan Turner from Ohio State. He reminds me so much of Brandon, but then we'd be stuck in the same place as we are with Rudy and Roy.
    I am starting to think that unless someone slips, this pick could be packaged as trade bait..who knows?
    I am a fan of
  1. whatinthebluehell
    whatinthebluehell
    Posts: 18

    Posted 12/29/2009 8:25 PM

    The problem is that Pritchard tries to make his moves like the NY Yankees. He says screw the draft, we'll go after the free agents, (at least the last 2 years). The problem is that Portland isn't a desirable place to play compared to other warmer climate and places where the action is. I'd like to see Pritchard take some picks and package them to move up instead of move down.
    I am a fan of WINNING!
  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 12/30/2009 2:04 PM

    Well, we won't have to worry about free agency (outside of the mid level exception) this year or many years in the future.
    Unfortunately, this is not baseball and we can't field our own farm team and have call ups and send downs (something I would love to see the NBA adopt) along with adding 2 rounds to the draft.
    How cool would that be to have a minor league team down in Eugene to play in the new Mac Court?
    Anyways, back on topic, did you see Devin Ebanks last night? Kid looks fantastic. Right now he is mocked about 10th or so but with Batum's ability to guard nearly everyone, another small forward assuming maybe we deal Marty would not be the worst thing in the world.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 12/30/2009 6:01 PM

    I know we have NO shot at John Wall, but man alive does this kid ooze greatness.
    Did anyone see his hops on this reverse alley-oop?
    John Wall Dunks Over Hartford
    I am a fan of
  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 01/08/2010 4:36 PM

    Its over a week into January, when are you coming out with your January Edition?
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 01/11/2010 6:16 PM

    Hopefully later on this week!
    I am a fan of
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