Jun 23

Draft Recap: Trail Blazers Trade For Raymond Felton, Draft Nolan Smith and Jon Diebler

By sarahhecht Posted in: AndreMiller, jondiebler, Mavericks, NolanSmith, Nuggets, RaymondFelton, RudyFernandez
It was a busy night in Rip City as the Trail Blazers front office staff strategized over draft picks and wheeled and dealed trades. After the dust settled Portland ended the exciting evening with guards Raymond Felton, Nolan Smith and Jon Diebler.

Draft day kicked off like many others with trade rumors beginning to heat up. Names like  Andre Miller, Jameer Nelson and Raymond Felton were included in most of the talks but nothing was confirmed as the 2011 NBA Draft kicked off at 4:30pm.

The Trail Blazers made their first selection with the 21st pick taking combo-guard Nolan Smith from Duke University. Smith—who filled the shoes of No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving following a foot injury—led the Blue Devils to their third consecutive ACC title while racking up a slough of accolades including ACC Player of the Year, First Team All-ACC and a place as a First Team All-American.

“Nolan is a young guard that I think is gonna be solid. He brings versatility to the line up,” Head Coach Nate McMillan said “I think that the guard, the core of guards that we have, is really solid with the addition. Nolan will give us versatility where he can play with a point guard and he can play the point himself.”

Thirty selections later Portland snagged Jon Diebler with the 51st pick. A lights-out shooter from three-point-land, Diebler led the nation in shooting the long ball during his senior season with the Ohio State Buckeyes.

“One of the better catch and shoot guys in the draft, another high character guy, four year guy, who improved every year at Ohio State,” Interim General Manger Chad Buchanan said. “He had some phenomenal games shooting the ball this year for a very good Ohio State team”

The two rounds of the draft concluded without incident but there was more to come for the Trail Blazers. Just after 10pm, Buchanan confirmed the heavily speculated trade of Andre Miller to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Raymond Felton. Three teams were involved in the swap that also shipped Rudy Fernandez to the Dallas Mavericks.

Here are the details of the trade:

- Rudy Fernandez and the rights to Petteri Koponen to Dallas for the rights to 26th pick Jordan Hamilton and 57th pick Tanguy Ngombo
- Andre Miller and the rights to Jordan Hamilton to Denver for Raymond Felton

Overall the activity of the Trail Blazers—which has become par for the course on draft night—resulted in a beefed-up back court and a younger point guard selection. Closing the events of the evening McMillan shared his satisfaction with the trades and picks as well as his gratitude and respect for Andre Miller.

“I thought we did a good job of improving our team tonight. We gave up a pro in Andre Miller, Andre has been great for us, but we add a guard that not only I feel will help us now, but a guard for the future in Raymond Felton,” McMillan said. “He’s a legit starting guard that is in his prime, I think he’s going to give us some different options than Andre. Andre was a guy that we could take advantage of posting up small guards, Raymond would be more of a guard that would be involved in pick and rolls and spread the floor with his ability to shoot the ball and attack.

“I really feel good about the moves that we made today. I think we have improved and as I said I felt like we addressed a need for not only now but for the future.”

With another draft in the books how do you feel about the selections and trades?


  1. Hi Miss Sarah; Thank you for the post and keeping your promise to me.

    As I said in the pre-draft work-out report that you did on Nolan, that you were throwing me a curve ball to throw me off the track. Nolan sounded awesome.
    Well we both got thrown off track by Chad.
    I was sure Rudy would go before next year, and as somebody said in his tweet, that he will miss the Portland fans but he was happy going to the best team in the NBA, so maybe that will improve his ball playing.

    Getting Felton for Dre wasn't a surprise, but at first somewhat disappointing, but after thinking about it, since Dre wasn't going to be long term, getting a PGOTF might as well start now. It was reported by Mike B that Chad loved Felton play from day one.

    I wanted to address or front court hole, but maybe it would be better to do that with veteran players, plus listening to Chris Johnson saying he grew a 1/2 an inch and put on 20 pounds, and Chad saying Chris was doing fantastic working out in the gym, part of the problem may already be addressed.
    We may need to get Pendergraph back to help until Greg gets on the roster in January. So we may be alright in the front court also.

    Thank you again Miss Sarah

    by Hg on 6/24/2011 4:18 AM
  2. BTW, I am happy with Diebler with our 51 Pick sounds like a 3pt specialist and we needed more shooters.

    by Hg on 6/24/2011 4:25 AM
  3. I like Nolan Smith but not at the expense of passing on Kenneth Faried so he could go to Denver and kick our asses within our division. Our picks should have been Faried at #21 and McCamey at #51. Strange moves made by someone but I would say not Nate M.

    by mbmurr1 on 6/24/2011 7:58 AM
  4. hey Sarah, i like the Felton deal, and Smith seems like a great guy (he already replied to my "welcome to the blazers" tweet to him). i'm just a little foggy on why we didn't go big. Chad has been acting GM in two drafts and he has only taken guards. we addressed one need, but ignored the front line where, in my opinion, we needed more attention. i know, hopefully we can achieve that in free agency and trades. while i like Felton and Smith, i think the draft priorities were in the wrong place. Diebler, okay a shooter, but he's not going to get any real time behind Brandon and Wesley so that's a bit of a question mark as well. as for Faried, he's one dimensional and undersized. the latter so much so that he'll probably be a sf at the nba level. we all know that's not what we need. Ngombo at #57 ... we'll just have to see about that!

    by Kassandra on 6/24/2011 1:08 PM
  5. @Kass, I saw that tweet! I like him already :)

    As for addressing needs. The toughest part about being a fan is not knowing what's going on in the heads of the front office. Building and changing a team is a lot like a chess game, you HAVE to be thinking of the next moves you'll make. I have complete confidence that Chad and the front office developing our team have multiple ideas in mind, they know that we need bigs as much as we do.

    So again, it's tough to watch everything unfold when we don't get to see the next steps that are planned/being planned, but keep the faith.

    I'm right there with you.

    by sarahhecht on 6/24/2011 1:42 PM
  6. Miss Sarah and Miss Kassandra. this is an article i just read on BE
    I'd have liked to get Faried a lot, yet looking at the upcoming FA class I think the Blazers can live without him

    Lots of bigs and PFs in there. Plus trying to get Freeland over in 2012. We should be fine in the PF rotation. Center is still a big question mark with Camby not getting any younger and Oden not yet getting any healthier.

    The reason I posted this is because I forgot about Freeland. The looming Lock-out was the chief reason for him not coming over now.

    What do you two brainy monsters think? Does that relieve the pain of not choosing Faried? Plus if Denver and Portland was going to swap draft then they might as well have choose the way they would have finally came out without the paper work.

    by Hg on 6/25/2011 5:32 AM
  7. @Hg, I agree that it's easier to come across a PF than a solid point guard. We'll have to wait and see what the future holds in many respects before we really start considering who to go after to shore up the front court.

    by sarahhecht on 6/27/2011 10:24 AM
  8. Thank you Miss Sarah. your response is very appreciative.

    Gotta get to work, so as I can be home to watch the red carpet for our three draft picks and maybe find out obout our deal with Minny

    by Hg on 6/27/2011 10:32 AM
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