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Q: I’m Mike and I love watching your shows from Australia, it gets me through the day. My question is that would you consider trading or moving up to get Bradley Beal? He is listed as 6’3, which is small for shooting guard in the NBA. So could they train him to become a PG just like the Thunder did to Russell Westbrook for OKC? From what I have read, he has great basketball IQ and passing ability? --Mike Meyer
Bradley Beal is arguably my favorite prospect in this entire draft outside of the Unibrow himself. The comparisons to Ray Allen and Eric Gordon aren’t that far off. He’s got a sweet shooting stroke, an ability to beat his man off the dribble, and also possesses the strength to finish in traffic despite being an undersized shooting guard. While he’s listed at 6-3, reports came out today that he measured out at 6-4 ¼ at the pre-draft combine which will only make it that much more difficult to acquire him. I just don’t see how he slips past Washington at No. 3 as the Wizards need to find John Wall a running mate in the backcourt as soon as possible.
With that said, what would a team like the Wizards want in return from the Trail Blazers to move down three spots in the draft? As much as I love Beal’s game and think he is the real deal, if their asking price is both No. 6 and No. 11, then I’d pass. Stay at No. 6 and take the best player available. But, if the Wizards would accept No. 6, a second round pick and a player like Nolan Smith, who is from the DC area, or Luke Babbitt, then I’d have to pull that trigger.
Finally, if the Trail Blazers did acquire Bradley Beal his primary position would be shooting guard, but don’t be surprised to see him handle the ball ala Brandon Roy. In a draft workout interview with SLAM, Beal mentioned how he is working non-stop on his handle and is going to surprise a lot of people with it.
“I believe that I’m going to surprise teams because the main focus of my whole pre-Draft workout has been my ball handling,” a confident Beal said. “They say that I’m a little undersized for 2-guard, so I may have to play some point guard eventually. I think that a lot of teams are going to be shocked by my ball handling.” (Link: http://www.slamonline.com/online/nba/2012/05/nba-pre-draft-tour-brad-beal-workout/)
- Dustin Hawes
Q: Happy to see the D-League move. If Portland now can be in charge with all basketball operation in Idaho, should Portland acquire as many 2nd round picks as possibility for future quality players? Idea! Look to trade both 1st rounders & Shawne Williams for best player available & 2nd round draft pick(s) (Tyreke Evans, Kyle Lowry, Darren Collison, other?) Now we can train/teach any of our prospects until they are ready to play. Plus they will know our system when they get here. We can have a 13-man roster under Trail Blazers colors, same money spread over less people = better players on bench with cheep injury protection a phone call away. This is the best Blazer move in the last decade! -- Michael-Trent
I like that you’ve put some thought into this idea but it’s not feasible. Even with the Trail Blazers now in charge of basketball operations for the Stampede we still have 15 contracts for the NBA team. Just because guys on our roster are playing in Idaho doesn’t mean they get paid less money and that money can be spent on the 13 guys still suiting up in the Rose Garden. Contracts are negotiated individually and don’t change based on the movement of other teammates. Secondly, you have fifteen guys on a roster for a reason. Trading first round picks and loading up on second-rounders who may or may not develop is not a wise decision, it would most definitely cause the Trail Blazers to suffer. Not to mention a player who has real potential to develop in the NBA would miss out on the chance to practice with NBA level players on a daily basis. Sure, they wouldn’t get minutes like they would with the Stampede, but sometimes you have to weigh the pros and cons to decide where development is most likely to happen.
A more likely use of the Idaho franchise is to use it like the Euro leagues are used now—to watch the continued development of guys you own the rights to but who don’t have contracts. A perfect example is Jon Diebler from last year’s draft.
- Sarah Hecht
Q: I would like more info on the partnership with the Stampede. 1) Can we rotate players in and out at will or is there a time limit to how long each player plays in the Farm league. For instance, can we send different rotation players down from time to time and let the bench players play in rotation for short stance? 2) Does that change what we would do with our draft picks? I am thinking as I asked Casey, about Freeland, if we do bring him over, as you said he is untested in the NBA, but he does have great experience and talent. Therefore by bringing him over and alternating him in the D league with say Drummond from the draft, would that be an effective way to handle the draftees. Same with PG. acquire an established PG then pick up say Marshall in the draft and give him training in the D league.? 3)The last that probably should be first, will the players we have in the D league have their own pay scale that would eliminate running players back and forth? 4) It has been said that Kaleb would be a great coach for our Farm team. It there any chance that Kaleb could go there to coach and hire another coach for the Blazers team? --Hg
Wow! So many great questions!
The usage of the Stampede as a place for current Trail Blazers to develop will be very similar to how the franchise was used before. Players with NBA contracts can and will be moved up and down at the discretion of the Trail Blazers basketball operations staff. There are no time limits.
The Stampede will change insomuch as it will be a place for developing players to go instead of heading all the way over to the Euro leagues, but expect to see it look just like it has in past years. The key difference being they will be running the Trail Blazers systems and players will be more educated to jump up to playing in the Rose Garden.
As for Freeland, he’s playing at a high enough level in Europe right now that I’m sure he’d be less than thrilled about coming over to the US for anything less than minutes in the NBA. I also believe we’d have to buy him out to get him over here, so from a business standpoint buying him out without the thought that he could contribute fairly quickly wouldn’t make much sense. So I’d count him coming over to be in Idaho out as a possibility.
The contract situation is fairly simple. Players on the Trail Blazers roster are paid whatever their contract deems. They can be sent to Idaho to develop but are still paid by Portland. The Stampede players without NBA contracts are paid by Idaho until if/when they are offered an NBA contract. The books are completely separate.
Lastly, the Kaleb situation. Coach Canales has proven that he is an NBA caliber coach. In my opinion, heading to Idaho is not the best way for him to develop and would actually be a regression. He needs one of two things: The coaching job here in Portland where he can continue to grow on the job or a top-tier experienced NBA head coach to mentor him.
- Sarah Hecht