Jun 13

Why Damian Lillard Could Be The Man For Portland At No. 6

By DHawes22 Posted in: 2012draft, Blazers, damianlillard

Photo Courtesy of Chris Detrick/Salt Lake Tribune

Just who exactly are the Trail Blazers targeting with their No. 6 overall pick in the upcoming June 28th draft? No one knows. But everyone loves to guess as evidenced by the seven different prospects that have been mocked to the Trail Blazers at that sixth slot with just 15 days until everything comes to fruition. But yesterday, on 1080 The Fan, General Manager Neil Olshey provided some valuable insight on the Blazers brass' thinking in regards to each pick:
"Like I said, we'll do our due diligence, we're doing our workouts, we've got a tone of film and background information, physiological, we've done all the live scouting, we've got the analytics. Right now, we're just kind of digging in. At least now we're kind of comparing apples to apples. We've funneled it down to probably three or four guys at each selection and we're going to look at the best aggregated results in the organization between the two picks.

Is one of those three or four prospects at No. 6, Weber State point guard Damian Lillard? According to Chad Ford's mock draft released today, Lillard is definitely in play for Rip City early on in the draft and believes he could be a similar type player to that of Derrick Rose.

Ford's right. Damian Lillard isn't on Derrick Rose's level as a prospect. But that's not a knock on Lillard as Rose was a once-in-a-decade guard who led Memphis to the NCAA Championship game as a Freshman and won the NBA's MVP in just his third season at the ridiculously young age of 22. Even in Lillard ends up being Derrick Rose-lite, that's a positive for a franchise, in Portland, that desperately needs leadership and stability from the lead guard position. Rather than shy away from the draft combine in Chicago as often you see from potential Top 10 picks, Lillard showed off his competitive nature by not only participating but leaving the Windy City as one of the draft's hottest prospects.

Weber State's Damian Lillard was the real star of the draft combine. He was the best player to agree to do the drills and it paid off for him. Many of the NBA executives in attendance had never seen him play in person before and the rest had only seen him only a handful of times. Lillard shot the lights out, had a couple of terrific dunks in the drills and 3-on-3 play, played hard and was very good in interviews with teams.

And the similarities to Rose don't end on the hardwood for Lillard, either.
His measurements also turned out to be eerily similar to Derrick Rose. Rose measured 6-1 1/2 in socks and 6-2 1/2 in shoes in Chicago in 2008. Lillard was 6-1 3/4 in socks and 6-2 3/4 in shoes. Rose had a 6-8 wingspan, while Lillard had a 6-7 3/4 wingspan. Rose weighed 196 pounds, while Lillard weighed 188. Both players measured with a 40-inch max vertical. Given Lillard's rep as a scoring point guard, he's got to like the similarities.

Even though Lillard has the talent and physical attributes to warrant a lottery selection, it's his drive and desire to become great which make him most attractive as a prospect and potential future Trail Blazer. Sports Illustrated caught up with him to produce a feature-length article which portrayed his journey from an Oakland, CA youth to mid-major All-American to 2012 NBA Draft pick.
"The more I started to shoot, to get a lot of reps up, the more I started to make a lot of shots," Lillard said. "And then I started to hold myself to a standard, like, 'All right, I'm going to make 10 shots, but I'm only going to give myself 12 shots to make 10. And if I don't, then I'm going to stand in this spot until I make 10 of 12.' I think that's when I started to be a shotmaker."

"Oakland breeds toughness, and guys who don't back down and will guard whoever," Lillard said. "So I definitely want to hold that standard so people see that I'm an Oakland guard. I've got that same fire to me as those other guards, and hopefully I'll prove myself."

His will to win reminds me a lot of current Trail Blazer, Wesley Matthews. And conveniently enough, in an interview with Draft Express after the Draft Lottery was complete, Matthews didn't beat around the bush when asked the type of player he wants to go into battle with 82 games a year.
"We need winners. People who are tough. People who don't like losing. Players who, if they lose a shooting drill, they lose their minds. Guys that play with a lot of heart and are unselfish. Guys that will sacrifice personal stuff for the team."

On June 28th, 2012, you just might get what you asked for, Wesley. Until then, check out the first episode of "License to Lillard: The Beginning" which shows how Damian is getting himself prepared for draft night.


  1. I don't think he is the Man if Drummand is on the board; I don't think he will be there at 11. But, what do I know? I do like Lillard from the film. I guess we will have to wait and see.

    by Hg on 6/13/2012 11:51 AM
  2. HG-
    My ideal draft is whomever slips to No. 6 (Beal, Robinson, MKG, Drummond) and then take Lillard at No. 11. But after his impressive showing at the combine, I don't think Lillard will get past Toronto at 8 or New Orleans at 10. I'd love for us to leapfrog the Raptors at 8, essentially giving us back-to-back picks at 6 and 7, but if we stay pat, I'll take Lillard's drive to win over Drummond's potential any day of the week.

    by DHawes22 on 6/13/2012 11:54 AM
  3. I agree, I don't think Lillard will make it to 11 and after the top pick, BPA is in the eyes of the beholder. So I am beside myself on who to take. Any of the ones we have a chance for won' be available at 11. Therefore if we are drafting for BPA we can hope for Leonard at 11. I don't like rivers, and I don't know about the rest that might be available at 11

    by Hg on 6/13/2012 12:04 PM
  4. The ideal draft is having Michael Kidd Gilchrist fall to #6 and the moving the #11 pick and a second or whatever is needed to come up to #7 or #8 and take Lillard.

    by cmeese47 on 6/13/2012 12:48 PM
  5. I agree. That would be about as good as it gets outside of trading for another lottery pick. Although I like the free agent crop of point guards (Dragic, Williams, Nash), I don't think it's realistic to get my hopes up for Deron, Nash seems to be out of our age range, and I'd rather roll the dice on Lillard becoming better then Dragic.

    by DHawes22 on 6/13/2012 1:03 PM
  6. even if you gamble on Lillard becoming better than Dragic, you're delaying the retooling of the franchise a bit. do we really want to be handing the keys to the franchise on day one to a rookie combo guard who looks to shoot first? this is a Jamal Crawford type guy which, for the right team could work well, is not a passing floor general which the blazers need -- or at least for what the team is looking (i.e. Dragic). in fact, we drafted a similar player last year (Nolan), but who passes the ball more. just don't see this as the best use of a #6 pick.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/13/2012 1:27 PM
  7. Nolan was a 2 guard in college until Kyrie went down with injury then he played his Senior season at point. To me, Lillard is a scoring guard in the same mold of Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose. He's not a combo guard, like Randy Foye or Jerryd Bayless, where they can bring the ball up the court but you don't want to rely on them initiating the offense. I've just got that feeling about Lillard. The same one I had about Westbrook, and the same one I had about Faired.

    by DHawes22 on 6/13/2012 1:31 PM
  8. draft Lillard at 6 and sign Steve Nash. In Nash's last 3 years he will develope lillard and help create a russel westbrook type player out of him (with a little more passing). Draft Meyers Leonard at 11. He's got good size and ball skill with the frame to put on more weight. He's also got good court vision and is a surprisingly good passer.

    by Thansen36 on 6/13/2012 1:44 PM
  9. I would LOVE Nash for 3 years, but, and this is just my opinion, after hearing Olshey's opening press conference, it doesn't seem like Nash is the right "age group" for the team he plans on building. As for Leonard...I'm more then leery on him. He didn't produce at Illinois, so now we're going to expect him to produce in the NBA? Hmm, not sure about that.

    by DHawes22 on 6/13/2012 1:48 PM
  10. everyone is well aware of Nolan's story of coming in for Irving. point being we drafted Nolan last year who is similar to Lillard -- as a pg. whether you want to call him a combo guard or not is irrelevant. he's not the pass-first offense initiator for which the team has said it's looking (even a scoring guard who plays the point should average more than the 4 assists per game he did last year), and he's not the sixth-best player available in this draft. we would be much better served finding the pgotf in free agency or a trade.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/13/2012 2:18 PM
  11. Lillard is a better athlete than Nolan he has a lot more upside than Nolan and has shown a better shooting stroke. Once again Lillard had 4 assists per game not 1.5.

    by cmeese47 on 6/13/2012 2:22 PM
  12. While there are some similarities, Smith has transformed into much more of a pass-first PG since he joined the Blazers. In his limited minutes, he's learned to defer to teammates when necessary but to take the open look when he gets it. However, he's not a slasher and doesn't pose a major threat off the dribble.

    Lillard, on the other hand, seems to be a multi-faceted threat. His shooting has been impressive, but he's got explosive quickness off the dribble and a strong first step. I think having Lillard and Smith as our 2nd and 3rd options at PG is a fantastic move, but Kassandra is right, Lillard can't have the keys just yet.

    We need to sign or trade for a more experienced PG to groom these two and be our lead floor general. Nash would be awesome but expensive, Dragic has huge potential but Houston wants to keep him and trade away Lowry (who I'd be happy to have also if we could snag him). How about Darren Collison? I actually wouldn't even mind Jonny Flynn starting at PG based on how he played toward the end of last season, but my guess is I'm alone in that opinion.

    by Chris Langeler on 6/13/2012 2:27 PM
  13. where did i say Nolan was better? could you please point that out? it was a comparison of styles, not abilities or which player is better. i understand the Lillard lovefest, he's just not the player the team needs. i also understand you're going to disagree with that, and that's fine with me. you get a feeling about players, and my feeling is that he's overrated; good, but overrated. oh, and i had already edited that to 4, to go along with his 4-2.3 assist to turnover ratio. thanks.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/13/2012 2:33 PM
  14. @Chris: Dragic or Lowry would be good. it appears houston may part with one of them. i liked Collison last summer and think he's ready to run a team as a matter of fact, in the right setting Calderon could be a good fit if the price weren't too high. i would much rather go after one of these guys and give them the keys to the franchise this year for the forseeable future rather than bring a guy in to hold the keys for a couple of years in order to give them to someone else.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/13/2012 2:38 PM
  15. @Kassandra: If we are keeping our picks, I go for the best player available at 6, be it Drummand or Lillard one of the other top 5.
    I am totally with you as far as turning the keys over to a rookie. Even as great as BRoy was, it took him a year to adapt. As we are almost naked at PG, OMG, did I say a forbidden word, ; therefore I wouldn't mind Lillard at PG as long as we got a good experienced PG as been said. I agree with you on Collison and Calderon, OBTW, it is said that Calderon may be up for amnesty. That would make him elgible for a cheap bid. I wouldn't mind Jonny Flynn either.

    by Hg on 6/13/2012 3:26 PM
  16. @Hg: despite what some people may think, i don't have a huge problem with the principle of best player available. however, i think determining which player that is is highly subjective are you rightin your determination of that player because you're a long-time fan? not necessarily. am i right because i've been following the blazers for 90 percent of my life? not necessarily. are Dustin & Casey right just because they work for the blazers? not necessarily. not necessarily right and not necessarily wrong. we all may think/feel this is these are THE guys at #6 & #11 and we'll probably be different (imagine how boring this site would be if everyone always agreed on everything!).

    the ironic part is that when the dust settles on 4 p.mn. pacific on draft day (and during the next three or so hours), we might not even be talking about who we picked at these spots. we might be talking about other players picked at other spots, or the guy(s) we got in a trade for the picks.

    i've heard rumors about Calderon and amnesty. i liked him last year and i like him again this year. if he were to be amnestied, i hope we would take a good look at him.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/13/2012 3:39 PM
  17. Collison doesn't do it for me. He looked fantastic as a rookie in New Orleans but then never really took that next step to becoming an All-Star caliber player.

    Dragic is nice and I WAS on his bandwagon during the season, but that was before Lillard came into the picture. The question with Dragic is, "How much?" He's an UFA and as good as I think he will be, do we want to spend $10 on him when you can get Lillard or Marshall for pennies on the dollar.

    Also, would Dragic be able to walk into our lock room from day one and be that leader, that voice, we need? To me, we need guys who will do whatever it takes to win. I'm not saying these other FA point guards don't have that, bt I see it in DL.

    by DHawes22 on 6/13/2012 3:57 PM
  18. As for Drummond, the more I think about picking him, the scarier it gets. Whose the last center who did well in the NBA based STRICTLY off of potential? Normally, the guys like Olajuwon, Robinson, Shaq, and Ewing killed it on the collegiate level. But Dre struggled and he should have been a beast. Now I know he's a center and the UConn guards didn't have pass in the vocabulary, but putbacks, tip-dunks, garbage points, etc...Drummond should have done more damage. But with that all said, he's still an option at 6 if he's there because you can not, not take into consideration what he could eventually become. But with Lillard really separating himself from Marshall, there's not really another great PG in this class, so it makes it hard to pass on Lill even with Dre on the board.

    by DHawes22 on 6/13/2012 4:01 PM
  19. @Kassandra: I am not the least bit right. I do not get to watch college sports because of TV sharing and other reasons. I am only getting my feeds from what I read. If Lillard is a Westbrook or a Tony Parker, then that would be great for me. If he is a Jerryd Bayless that would be OK too, but not someone as you have said give him the reigns to the team before proving he can control the team. In fact from what I have read, Marshall has great BBIQ, and lacks Defensive skills physically but makes up for it by playing smart and having great fast hands, He understands when to change the pace of the game which he does quite well, and he has great court vision, and hits the scorers where and when they can do the most with the ball.
    With all that being said, I would feel he would be a best fit for us then Lillard. On the other hand we were lacking in back court scoring last year so Lillard looks good. Can we mold them together and get one great PG LOL?
    My original picks was to take Drummand at 6 and Marshall at 11, but of course that is drafting for position.

    by Hg on 6/13/2012 4:08 PM
  20. I hope we take Lillard and his amazing offensive potential this year and find a way to draft Aaron Craft next season assuming he declares. We would then have the ultimate combo at PG. We would have the elite scorer paired with the best on ball defender in college basketball.

    by cmeese47 on 6/13/2012 4:44 PM
  21. Whoa, settle down Cory! Lets get through this draft before worrying about the 2013 crop! :D

    by DHawes22 on 6/13/2012 7:01 PM
  22. actually, Hg, if you could combine the best of Marshall and the best of Lillard, you might sell me on that. then again, you'd probably have a player taken higher than sixth. what i'm seeing is that Lillard is the flavor of the week. after reports from the draft workouts are presented, it's very possible many will be speaking of someone else.

    i've heard the number in the neighborhood of $8 million is where Dragic can be had. i don't know if that number is easier to swallow, Dustin, but it very well could be. our guys in the locker room know Dragic, so i don't think it would be inconceivable that he could come in and be the team leader on the court and in the locker room. i also think if Calderon is amnestied, that's a no-brainer.

    regardless, Lillard still seems like a potential rather than a sure thing -- or at least as much a sure thing as you can get with a guy coming out of college. let's just see after these workouts who the flavor of next week is.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/13/2012 7:31 PM
  23. The thing is, I don't think we need a guy who is right at their peak now. To me, we need to build through the draft. We need to acquire young talent and make our run in 2-3 years. Dragic is solid, a borderline All-Star and I'd be thrilled to have him, but I believe Lillard's ceiling is higher, which is why I want him. In an ideal world, we'd be able to pick up Lillard AND Robinson/MKG. If we come out of this draft with two studs, it oculd be like 06 all over again.

    by DHawes22 on 6/13/2012 7:44 PM
  24. Lillard is looking like the real deal... if we stay at 6 we take him if Beal is off the board.

    I think Lillard can produce big time right out of the gate just like Steph Curry

    I hope we stay pat and draft Lillard and Leonard at 11

    by D Licious on 6/13/2012 8:13 PM
  25. Finally, someone sees it like it is! You hit the nail right on the head Licious. Lillard is going to be a baller just like Curry is. When we look back at this draft 3-5 years from now, teams are going to up UPPPPPSET they passed on Dame.

    by ClydeFrog on 6/13/2012 10:31 PM
  26. Kassandra: "our guys in the locker room know Dragic, so i don't think it would be inconceivable that he could come in and be the team leader on the court and in the locker room. i also think if Calderon is amnestied, that's a no-brainer."

    Me: I like the logic, though I actually don't see Dragic coming in and being our locker room leader. Dragic seems more like a lead by example kind of guy. Calderon, however, probably would step up into that leadership void, and I think snagging him off of amnesty would be outstanding. He's a 10-ast/game PG who can hit 3's and slash, and is supposed to be a great locker-room guy. What's missing?

    I also think having Lillard behind him would be ideal. Calderon is still athletic but he's not explosive, so having a scoring punch made of raw athleticism like Lillard coming in for him off the bench would have other team's #2 PG on the ropes.

    Dhawes, I hear you on Collison. I think he's a good option if Nash/Dragic/Lowry/Calderon don't pan out, but certainly get the feeling that he's hit his ceiling.

    by Chris Langeler on 6/14/2012 7:35 AM
  27. Calderon is probably the worst defender at his position in the NBA. He is a fine passer and does not turn the ball over. However, for 10 points a game and terrible defense he is not the guy Portland needs running this team. Bad defensive teams never win in the playoffs and he is terrible.

    by cmeese47 on 6/14/2012 12:29 PM
  28. Via Chris Haynes, it appears Damian Lillard is already in PDX and will have a solo workout tomorrow with the Blazers. I can't wait to see some footage of him!

    by ClydeFrog on 6/14/2012 5:12 PM
  29. Chris Haynes can thank me for sending him the alert but he wont

    by cmeese47 on 6/14/2012 5:31 PM
  30. Are you serious, Cory? You got connections? If, in fact, Lillard is in own tomorrow, you better believe that all eyes in Rip City will be on Dame.

    by DHawes22 on 6/14/2012 6:10 PM
  31. Dustin, Lillard has already landed in Portland you follow him on twitter, I just wish you did not have to act so shocked for your job. The potential bigger deal is Andre Drummond also showing up for a workout.

    by cmeese47 on 6/14/2012 6:18 PM
  32. I wasn't acting shocked at Lillard being in Portland. There's no denying he's a target so its only a matter of time before he worked out. You made it seem like you knew way in advance which is why I was pretty surprised and thought it was cool if you had connections.

    But back to the topic: Is there anything Andre Drummond can do in a solo workout that will either help or hurt his stock? I truly believe he's one of those players who you won't know what you've got until you see him live in an NBA game setting.

    by DHawes22 on 6/14/2012 6:29 PM
  33. That is a good question I think Portland should have done what Sacramento did and work him out in a group but if the rumors are true the team has completely ruled him out at #5.

    As for Lillard, I watched his post work out interview and when Casey announced on twitter that the workouts tomorrow were solo it became obvious he was coming in. So I sent the info to Chris Haynes who was able to get it confirmed.

    by cmeese47 on 6/14/2012 6:35 PM
  34. BTW you should check out the highlight mix I have up from Lillard on my blog the way he gets to the rim and inside reminds me a lot of Rondo.

    by cmeese47 on 6/14/2012 6:36 PM
  35. as i've said, i understand the Lillard lovefest. however, there is no saying that this guy will be as successful in the nba -- the NBA -- as he was at the small college he attended. a few days at a combine does not an nba career make. if you guys think that, then fine. i tend to think more analytically than that on things such as this. also as i've said, if he becomes a blazer, then i'm obviously on his side and will root for him. bottom line is, i won't believe it until i see it. it's unfortunate that some cannot understand that.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/14/2012 6:42 PM
  36. Kassandra that is legit and I certainly do not blame you there, the only question I have is if you are going to watch his post workout interview tomorrow?

    by cmeese47 on 6/14/2012 6:45 PM
  37. i'm moving out of my dorm tomorrow, then going out in san francisco on friday night. looking forward to a relaxing weekend at my bro and sister-in-law's in san francisco. lol i didn't need to go into all that, but to a point, i'll probably recap a lot of the draft workout recaps, including Lillard and Drummond's over the weekend. frankly, i'm a little behind given the business of dead week and finals. the last real news on which i caught up was the combine.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/14/2012 7:09 PM
  38. I know how that goes been working really hard on a few projects to finish up my term but since they are on the computer and I need to be online for them I found myself often drifting over here.

    by cmeese47 on 6/14/2012 7:31 PM
  39. Kass-

    I actually like the fact he's coming from a small school. First off, it gives him extra motivation and that chip on his shoulder gets bigger with every doubt that is cast upon him. And second, we've had tremendous success with guys from small schools: Porter (Stevens-Point), Kersey (Longwood), Duck (Easstern Illinois), etc.

    by DHawes22 on 6/14/2012 7:33 PM
  40. Dustin, just because we drafted a couple guys over a quarter of a century ago (we didn't draft Duck) who worked out doesn't really tell me anything. Lillard was a big fish in a tiny pond. as i seem to have to keep repeating, that does not necessarily nor automatically translate into huge nba success. i will not be convinced unless -- and if =-- it happens.

    Cory, seems like the spring term finals time is the busiest time of year for me. there's just so many thing, even aside from school, going on. summer itineraries, plans for school in the fall and my kid sister's high school graduation just to name a few.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/14/2012 8:15 PM
  41. Have fun Kassandra in San Fran, but I agree with Dustin's sentiment that it is a good thing he is a small school guy it seems to have fueled him and given him a chip on his shoulder. I like his passion.

    by cmeese47 on 6/14/2012 8:30 PM
  42. We may as well have drafted Duck. We traded for him just 15 games into his career, so we saw something we liked. I just like the underdogs. In a world where people feel entitled, these players who have to continuously prove their doubters right, are the type of guys we need.

    Take Wesley for example. He went from undrafted to starting shooting guard and it's because of his chip on his shoulder. He's ALWAYS looking to prove people wrong and we need more of that time of mentality on this team.

    by DHawes22 on 6/14/2012 9:00 PM
  43. Portland certainly can use a fuel guy someone who is motivated by everything.

    Look at how it worked for Jordan, Kobe and Garnett

    by cmeese47 on 6/14/2012 9:20 PM
  44. so, since we may as well drafted Duck and Wesley has a chip on his shoulder means Lillard automatically will be a superstar? well then screw Davis, the hornets should draft him if it's an automatic that he's going to be so great. as i keep having to say, theree is no guarantee that he will be a great nba player. those ifs and buts will drive you nuts. i'll believe it if and when i see it. that's my nature so it's pretty much not going to change.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/15/2012 7:00 AM
  45. Kassandra I love your fight girl but here is why Lillard should be successful. One he plays hard every single game, hard work is essential to being successful at the next level. Two he has a chip on his shoulder, Lillard is a fuel guy who will always be motivated because he has something to prove everyday. Three, his ball handling, quickness, ability to finish with either hand, willingness to accept contact, and jump shot are all NBA ready. Does that guarantee anything, no but it sure gives him a better chance.

    by cmeese47 on 6/15/2012 9:03 AM
  46. @Kassandra: I do agree with you about guarantees, But, I am saying that you can't knock Lillard just because he hasn't the popularity of some of the bigger schools. You have said that the All-Star contest is in reality a popularity contest, and much is the same with the NBA draft.
    I have no idea who the Blazers will pick. For Me I would like to see Drummand and Marshall. But you can't count Lillard out of one of Portland's players. for no more then his shooting.
    I am a fan and will be OK with what they do.

    by Hg on 6/15/2012 9:08 AM
  47. Very solid interview. This kid looks ready to go. He said he's a team-first guy, who wants to play in the pick and roll offense with Aldridge, and that hopefully he'll get drafted here. I'm sold. Now it just raises the question whether you take him at 6, wait until 11 or trade up from 11.

    by DHawes22 on 6/15/2012 10:33 AM
  48. Big fan of DL's chip and confidence. Though his shot seems to be dropping in the workouts, his release is still really low. I think he will be able to start and run the pick and roll in the league, but Drummond looked too good in the workouts. We need to surround LMA with something. I wont be disappointed if we give DL at shot at #6 and Rivers at #11. Gotta grab Fab Melo or Kyle O'Quinn if that happens.

    by PalaceBro on 6/15/2012 10:40 AM
  49. Rivers said he's only working out for 5 teams and Portland will be one of them. I definitely wouldn't be mad at a Rivers/Lillard draft.

    Link: http://www.iamatrailblazersfan.com/ArticleDisplayPlaceholder/tabid/192/ItemID/3146/Default.aspx

    by DHawes22 on 6/15/2012 12:48 PM
  50. Portland needs defenders and help at small forward a lot more than they need another SG. Rivers can score sure but that is all he gives you, he is a potential Monta Ellis or Jamal Crawford both guys can score in bunches and neither plays any defense. If you have 4 quality defenders on the floor with one of these type players you are fine but since Portland is lacking there we need a more versatile pick at #11

    by cmeese47 on 6/15/2012 1:05 PM
  51. I have been a fan of trading up from 11 all along. 6th bpa and 7th or 8th Lillard. If not that, then Lillard at 6 and Leonard at 11. Something tells me Leonard will be better than Drummond. I think it's the 30% ft shooting, maybe. I think packaging to move 6 up is foolish, since players 2-6 don't show much seperation, hence the constant flip flopping of mocks. Lillard and Leonard would be a perfect draft night in my mind. Sign a good big/sg/pg, and retain Hickson and Batum. We're a young 7th seed right away, maybe a 4th next year, and with the right moves, always contention talk. It's a process. We're not going to go from 28-38 to 65-17 in one season. We can't say, "Well why would we want to prepare for an 8th seed? That's not what we want." I disagree. A 7th or 8th seed next year... I would be thrilled to get to see Portland playoff basketball. What we don't want is a lottery discussion in May of next year. Lillard and Leonard would get us out of that, I think, free agency pending.

    by wayne.lamb on 6/15/2012 2:37 PM
  52. Good post Wayne yes we either want to be out of the lottery or so bad that we get a top pick. I would rather see us win now.

    by cmeese47 on 6/15/2012 3:05 PM
  53. I think the FO will have to choose between Lillard and Drummand at six because neither will be there at 11. as Lillard and Leonard would be great, so may be Drummand and Marshall. Remember Marshall broke his hand and elbow

    by Hg on 6/15/2012 4:12 PM
  54. I agree with Wayne. We don't need to go from the bottom to the top of the West in one year; it's just not going to happen, so lets temper the expectations at the door. Build like we did in 2006 and just keep getting better each and every season.

    At #6 we will have to choose, but I believe, and this is just my opinion, we will move up from #11 to ensure that we will get Lillard. I think if we want Marshall, we just trade down from #11 as Marshall's stock is falling right now. I've seen him going #17 to Dallas in a lot of mocks recently.

    by DHawes22 on 6/16/2012 9:42 PM
  55. DHawes22: I am not sure Lillard or Drummand will be there at 6. But then we could get one of the other top 5. I don't know about trading up or how we could guarantee us a Lillard at any position other then 1. His stock is raising very fast.

    Question Dustin, keeping Jamal on the roster to trade him on draft night and he gets to keep his birds rights, could we use him to trade for another draft pick?

    by Hg on 6/16/2012 10:17 PM
  56. HG- I know the deadline for him to opt in or out of his contract is a day or two before the draft and he's already said he's opting out to become a free agent. So when it comes to players and team/player options, I don't think you can trade them until the next cycle begins, which I believe is on July 1st or around there. It's kind of the same thing as trying to trade Batum now; we can't. Although he's on our roster and we can match all offers, he's still a free agent.

    It may be hard for Portland to move up in the draft because of the little useable assets we do have. Charlotte owns our future 1st, Hickson and Batum are free agents, Crawford has an option, and guys like Felton, Flynn, Thabeet, etc are all unrestricted free agents. So it will definitely be interesting to see on draft night if Olshey does indeed move up to secure himself Lillard allowing the team to draft BPA at 6.

    by DHawes22 on 6/17/2012 10:14 AM
  57. @Cory: it's not a matter of fight; it's a matter of logic. so Lillard plays hard every play; you could say that about most on the draft board. so YOU think he has a chip on his shoulder (opinion rather than fact, necessarily); you could say that about most on the draft board. so he has skills; also, you could say that about most on the draft board. you're opinions will, of course, back up your support of taking him, but the truth is you just plain don't know. you haven't sold me yet and you won't. the only thing that will sell me on Lillard is Lillard. that is, if we take him. a season against low-level competition, a good weekend at the combine and even a solid team workout don't add up to a "better chance" to be successful.

    @Hg: i'm not talking about Lillard's lack of popularity. i'm talking about the low level of competition Weber St. played last year. the big sky conference isn't exactly considered a mecca of great basketball teams. they even lost to Cal (that means a lot to a Stanford girl! lol). Lillard was a big fish in a tiny pond. there's no way you can tell from his play last season and a couple of workouts that he is worthy of being picked at #6. as i just told Cory, that's not going to convince me and i still don't think or feel he is the best player available when the sixth selection comes up.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/19/2012 7:14 PM
  58. wow, this topic's getting a lot of attention, unfortunately I'm way behind on the conversation and don't have time to play catchup with all your comments. I just wanted to say that I found it fascinating that Lillard is being compared to Rose. Rose was highly touted at Memphis and he couldn't shoot well. I compared Rose to Jason Kidd, and why I really loved Rose is because that was the year I took 1st place in the tournament pool because I predicted Memphis over UCLA and Kansas over Memphis.

    The reason I mention that is because of WHY i predicted that. Rose matched up against Collison and he shut him down big time, and I saw it coming. Rose has the size to over power other point guards. He rebounds like Jason Kidd.

    I mean, if I were GM of the Blazers, guys in the past I would have targeted were Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Durant... that's not hindsight, I followed them all in college and loved their game. Blake was so above the rim with Jordan like authoritative jams, he was just spectacular and Durant offensively and defensively was so sound.

    Anyway, yeah, i figured Rose's percentages might improve, but even if not, he was one of those rare guys who could score, rebound better than any PG in the nation, defend...

    And I think the comparison to Lillard honestly is not even close. Lillard is not a rebounder like him and he's not a shut down defender, but he does have that 6-3 frame, he's just not as big. Comparing him to Rose is going to get this story a lot of attention, it's just unfair though and pumping up fans with a Rose comparison is going to over-inflate this guy's stock.

    If people want a scoring PG then go for lillard, but if portland just wants more PPG, take Waiters to come in off the bench and target a true PG in free agency or go with other better passing pgs like ones we've all talked about many times before (marshall/machado).

    by boomtown on 6/19/2012 7:39 PM
  59. I like the Rose comparisons mainly came from the fact that they are measured out so similarly. Personally, I think Lillard can be a Steph Curry/Terry Porter type guard who definitely looks to score but also has the capability to run an offense. And considering TP is my fv point guard of all-time, the thought of getting a 22 year-old version gets me pumped for draft night.

    by DHawes22 on 6/19/2012 7:45 PM
  60. Hey Miss Kassandra; I have no idea of what Lillard's game is, I can just go by what I read. All I am saying is we don't know how good or bad he is and he shouldn't be judged just because he went to a small school. If it is one against five, the five usually wins. anyway you are right, he has to prove himself as a NBA player not because of what he does in the pre draft workouts. Nevertheless you have to astablish a method to select and it sound as through the Blazer fans is behind Lillard. We have no idea about the Blazer Brass so this is all just speculation.
    Are you all through with your finals.?

    by Hg on 6/19/2012 7:48 PM
  61. Kassandra, I would agree he's not the best talent at 6. There's no reason to believe Barnes or Drummond won't be available at 6; it's going to come down to what Portland really wants to do... target the C with upside (Drummond ), get a replacement for Batum (if he's not to be matched ... take Barnes), or go with the PG they think is the best on the board in Lillard.

    There's many reasons to be pessimistic about Lillard because of the level of competition at Weber and his shoot-first mentality.

    But I guess imagine if Jordan had played at a place like Weber as opposed to UNC... Jordan probably would have averaged 25 ppg himself. Now I don't want to compare Lillard to Jordan b/c Lillard's nowhere near his athletic ability and not even close to the defender Jordan was, but the pessimism I have towards Lillard is also reasons for optimism. Think about it. He can run and dribble, which is to say he controls tempo. He's a much better shooter than Felton, so he won't disappoint fans as much. Plus with better talent around him (in Portland) than he had (at Weber), well, that should transcend to more assists naturally.

    The big thing with fans is what do you want? Do you want a guy capable of scoring to run the point? Or do fans want a distributor and play maker? Because the best assist men last year were Machado and Marshall. Machado is more sound offensively, Marshall is less developed, younger, higher ceiling.

    At this point I'm inclined to think portland's going drummond/marshall. what I think and what i hope are completely different tho. I love the upside of waiters and henson... i just want them and I'd take them at 6 and 11. but part of the problem is not being in the war room and not knowing the fate of guys like hickson and batum. Because if batum's not in the cards, then I really hope Barnes makes it to 6, but I don't think he will. If Hickson isn't to be retained, then I really like terrence jones at 11. but the possibilities are endless. I think I'm with you though, I don't really want to see lillard in a blazer uniform whether it's at 6 or 11 and honestly, if they're going to take lillard, i don't care which pick they use on him b/c 5 years from now that's just not going to matter. high picks flop and low picks shine all the time; every year there's examples of this, so i don't really care about 6 vs 11... if lillard falls on our lap at 11, that doesn't make him any more worthy than just taking him at 11, except that it means we're maybe fortunate to have barnes or drummond with lillard.... and drummond is worth more than henson, but i just like henson more than drummond. there's about 40 lbs difference, but henson will get bigger.

    sorry, rambling. I'm bored.

    by boomtown on 6/19/2012 7:56 PM
  62. One thing that has been said about Marshall is his understanding of how and when to change the tempo of the game and Of course his BBIQ.

    by Hg on 6/19/2012 8:33 PM
  63. I really like Marshall as a prospect too. And, at this point, I think he probably would be more bang for our buck as he's been mocked as low as #17 to Dallas. And if we had more scorers on this team, he'd be the perfect fit, but really LA is the only consist offensive weapon we've got, which is why Lillard is so attractive for this team. Either way, I hope we end up with EITHER Lillard or Marshall on draft night.

    by DHawes22 on 6/19/2012 9:21 PM
  64. That is true, but if we had Marshall, I believe we would have more scorers as he knows how to set them up, get the ball to them where they can do something with it.
    I believe this because of Dre. Batum, and Matthews scored more with Dre. But OTOH, neither can create for themselves and maybe that is what we need Lillard for. Nevertheless as you said, Marshall can learn to shoot more and has the BBIQ to learn to create for himself. I feel that Batum and Matthews will learn to do that also. But I believe EWill will take the minutes away from Matthews because he can create for himself and has great court vision.

    by Hg on 6/19/2012 10:41 PM
  65. @Hg: what i am saying is that the fact Lillard went to a small college is a big question, not that it's out of reach he will become effective in the nba. my main point, which i seem to have to keep repeating here, is that no one of us knows just how that may translate into the nba. i do feel, with what i've read and seen on video that he's not worth pick #6. i understand others may have another opinion. really, that's all i've been saying all along.

    @Boomtown: i'm gonna respond to that novel (j/k) of yours in a little bit!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/20/2012 7:05 AM
  66. @Miss Kassandra: I hope you are right. Myself, I like Drummand at 6 and Marshall at 11. But we do need somebody in the back court that can create, drive to the basket and find open shooters. I am just trying to guess how Portland will pick.

    I would not mind picking Lillard at 11. We need scoring in the back court and we need a PG that can run the floor. I think maybe we should get our PG from free agency or trade.

    I do understand what you have been saying, and I agree with you, but all the draftees are somewhat of a gamble; of course i don't know which to gamble on.
    In fact the thought of resigning Jonny Flynn and getting a guard in the draft that can create their own shot, whether it be a PG or a shooting guard.
    BTW, the more I look at Ross the more I like him.

    by Hg on 6/20/2012 7:24 AM
  67. The only way you don't take Lillard at 6 is if Barnes, Beal, Kidd-Gilchrist, or Robinson are somehow on the board. Will one of them slip? Unlikely, but it's happened before. Take Lillard over Drummond every day of the week and find our center in O'Quinn in the 2nd round.

    We all would love Lillard at 11, but right now his stock is too high. He'd get snatched up before our turn. We might just have to bite the bullet and take him at 6 to ensure we get our guy.

    by ClydeFrog on 6/20/2012 8:34 AM
  68. @ClydeFrog: I disagree with you, You take Drummand over Lillard any day of the week. There are many other ways to get a PG, many are available in FA and Trade. It would be hard to get another potential center as Drummand. Other then his free throw shooting, his D alone will give us a rebounder shot blocker, and post up defender. I think he would do OK in a pick and roll also as he can dunk quite easily.

    Lilard is a work horse, and I am sure his stock will raise above 11 even possible above 6, That is why I say take any other back court player that can create,drive, kick and pass at 11. In fact, I would go as far as picking another big at 11 and use or other assets to get a PG. If my vision is right, we now have a sign and trade with Jamal until the day after the draft and we can use him as a trade bait to either get Collison from Indy as he doesn't fit into their system and Indy wanted Crawford last year, plus Indy would get his Bird rights so they could go over the cap space to sign him. Or if Toronto takes Lillard that would mean that Calderon may be up for amnesty and we could make a bid for him cheap. We could also use Flynn and Nolan as they can both create and drive to the rim and kick out. both can shoot the ball, and maybe they don't have the ceiling that you must feel that Lillard has, but as Kassandra said we just don't know. Besides, nothing has been written in stone as to who our man is, because the FO, rightfully so, ain't tellen LOL.

    by Hg on 6/20/2012 9:13 AM
  69. I don't see Lillard being taken over Drummond either.

    You know, this would all be much easier if we could combine the talents of Lillard and Marshall, and draft that person.

    There really is no superman in this draft. Which is why I probably like Machado better than both Lillard and Marshall... get a FA PG like Kidd to run the show and groom Machado and Nolan...

    If we want scoring, draft Waiters at 6, or get a FA, make a trade. Do we not think we have enough scoring punch in LA, Batum, and Matthews?

    I don't really want a shooting point guard myself.

    And DHawes, no offense, but I didn't like Terry Porter as a point guard. I loved him as a person, as a blazer, as a player, but his best attribute was not running the point. In fact, when Strickland came into town, he showed everyone what being a point guard was all about. Porter to me was a point guard by default. TP dribbled more balls off his knees than anyone I ever remember. Strickland was a finisher, Porter wasn't.

    Lillard can dribble the ball up the court the same as Harrison Barnes, Dion Waiters, Anthony Davis, and many others in this draft, but he doesn't have the vision and ability of a true PG like Marshall. Personally, I wish Lillard were 3 inches taller and 40 pounds heavier so we could be talking about him as our next starting Shooting Guard. Only thing I keep saying is MAYBE Lillard will get more assists in Portland because he'll HAVE to pass more than he did at Weber. But to Kassandra's point, we still have to question the talent he went up against night in and night out. I'd say there is a higher chance of him busting out than there is of a guy like Marshall. I don't think Lillard will be a bust, but it's going to be interesting when he faces some shut-down guards in the NBA... guys he never had to face in college... because there weren't any on the schools he played.

    by boomtown on 6/20/2012 11:48 AM
  70. @Hg: gonna break this down simply here; this draft is too stocked with bigs and free agency is too stocked with pg's to not consider filling those holes respectively through those avenues. but that's besides the point. i'll tell you this also: if we are looking to draft the best player available at #6, then it's not Lillard; no ifs, ands or buts about it. Lillard is NOT the sixth best player in this draft. now, if we're going on need, we might end up taking Lillard at #6. however, if that happens, just know that you heard it here first that the "best player available" notion, is nothing more than a huge pile of BS.

    ~ KMM

    ps: forgot to respond to this earlier, but yes. finals were done last week. i've been spending some time here in san francisco with my bro and sister-in-law before heading north.

    by Kassandra on 6/20/2012 12:18 PM
  71. @boomtown: i appreciate your agreement. it's not the only consideration, but caliber of opponent in college should be looked upon very seriously. this is the only place he played organized ball from which we can reference. i also question how seriously to take the raves about his work at the combine. i've read more than one analyst (several, in fact), who said he stood out primarily because he was the only one who did every drill. well of course you're going to look better if no one else is doing the drills you are. see, that really doesn't tell me a whole lot. i see Lillard and Marshall as having different styles, but both who could be effective in their own ways. if Marshall could learn to create his own shot then i think he ranks higher than Lillard in a general sense. i also find it ironic that over the past couple of weeks the two players have gone in opposite directions in terms of draft ranking. no conspiracy or anything there (which can be a bit unlike me), but it's just curious.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/20/2012 12:26 PM
  72. @Clydefrog: if you think Lillard should be drafted over Drummond "every day of the week" then you are as nuts as your screenname! as i just mentioned to Hg, Lillard is not the sixth best player available, while Drummond just might be better than sixth. look at it this way: no one is ranking Lillard higher than sixth. on the other hand, Drummond has been ranked by some as high as second. that's some serious math there.

    O'Quinn may have some talent, but i don't think we can rely on getting our center in the second round (can you say Brian Thompson or, dare i say it, Ha Seung-Jin?). to me, that's even more of a question mark than taking Lillard at #6.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/20/2012 12:32 PM
  73. We'll see who will be laughing come draft night when we pass on Drummond. Do I think Lillard is the 6th best prospect? No. But I don't think Drummond is either. If it comes down to the two, you take the player who wants to get better not the one who will skate by on potential for the next four-five years.

    Also, everyone knows I have the best screen name on the site.

    by ClydeFrog on 6/20/2012 1:08 PM
  74. all you did was prove that you are as nuts as your screen name (it's good, but not the best)! if you want to laugh on draft night if that happens -- and i'm not saying it won't; just saying i wouldn't -- go ahead. won't bother me a bit. whomever we take will be a blazer and from that point forward will have my support. i guess what i'm saying is that i won't consider it a loss just because we don't pick the guy i personally would pick.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/20/2012 1:43 PM
  75. Hey Miss Kassandra: I have been going on the BPA as in the eyes of the be holder since there is marginal difference between 5 and about 15. and I don't know who is the best and who is not. I am going only by Big men like Drummand don't come around as often as PG, plus as you said there are many PG in FA and Trade that are already proven. Many fans want to stay away from centers because of Greg, but Greg is not playing because of injury not because he was a bust. and we still need a center regardless of what happened in the past.
    BTW, I watched and listened to Marshall at the work out today and he looked pretty good, I only seen him shooting threes and he did OK on that.

    You surely have done more research then me, and your thoughts are not that different then mine. I am still going with Drummand at 6, but I am thinking that 11 might be traded to Indy for Collison. We may be able to trade 11 to Indy for Collison and 26. That may not be to our best interest, but that could very easily happen. Or we might trade Jamal and some of our over-seas holding for Collison; of course I don't know, but I do feel Collison and any other PG available is on our radar.

    by Hg on 6/20/2012 1:38 PM
  76. @ClydeFrog, who is saying that Drummand is skating on his laurels for the next 4 or 5 years. He is only 18, had issues with growing up and didn't develop as fast as people that has too high of expectations of a teenager. and there is not guarantee that Lillard will put out full the next 5 years. I can name many players that bust butt to get a contract in the NBA, which is enough to last a life time if they watch their spending, then once they get the contract set on their butts that they worked off and collect the dough.

    I don't know who is the best, who will be a bust and nobody else does either. So I am like Kassandra who ever the Blazers pick with the data they have is good enough for me. I am only trying to figure out who that person is, not trying to decide the best player at that position.

    by Hg on 6/20/2012 1:49 PM
  77. Kassandra I could almost support what you were saying if it was not in support of someone like Drummond. Say what you want about where Lillard played but at least he dominated while he was on the court unlike Drummond. Also for a big guy with a huge body like Drummond the fact he only attempted 2.6 free throws per game is not a good sign. Then again had I shot 29% from the free throw line I would not want to get fouled either. He also shot 32% in post up opportunities, which is terrible considering his size, agility and impressive arm span. He was a good offensive rebounder and shot blocker but he was not even in the top 100 in defensive rebounds per game or total rebounds and that should be a big concern especially considering how big of a need that was last season. Drummond has tremendous athletic ability and potential but there is no chance in hell that right now he is the 6th best player in the draft let alone the second. Can he develop sure but then again so can Lillard neither player will be the 6th best player in the draft right now but both should warrant consideration. I am just not sure Drummond is a better option than Lillard.

    Ideally, this team makes a move up to #2 for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

    by cmeese47 on 6/20/2012 1:50 PM
  78. @Cory: Drummond is an option, but i'm not necessarily supporting him. if you please, read what i say before commenting on it.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/20/2012 2:07 PM
  79. Cory-
    No need to move up to #2 to get MKG. With the Wiz making this trade, they'll take Beal at 3, Barnes should go #4, and MKG could be there at 5. We'd just need to move up one spot.

    by DHawes22 on 6/20/2012 3:35 PM
  80. That is possible, but I believe MKG is the guy at #2 since Charlotte already has 20 million committed to their front court.

    by cmeese47 on 6/20/2012 5:09 PM
  81. boomtown-

    WHAT?!? You didn't like Terry Porter as a point guard? He, to me, is the perfect point guard. He could shoot like none other, ran the break to perfection, and knew when and where to get his teammates the ball. He was easily the 2nd best Trail Blazer during our three-year run of 59, 63 and 57 regular season wins. Not to mention he completely DESTROYED John Stockton in the 92 WCF.

    If Lillard is half the player TP was, we'll be in great shape!

    by DHawes22 on 6/20/2012 5:26 PM
  82. If I was in the Blazers front office i would draft Lillard with #6th pick I see nothing but a bright future for him and whatever team drafts him witch should be us then take a big man with the #11th pick!


    by Tyl3rPDX1992 on 6/25/2012 2:55 AM
  83. @DHawes22:
    New Rumor on the block, The Rockets are trying to move up to get Drummand, And to assure them of that they would have to move to 5. They are also using their 2 picks and Lowry as trade bait. If that happens I can see us getting MKG with the sixth, pick or do some three way trading to pick up Lowry; or if Houston doesn't trade with Sac we could pick Drummand at 6 and trade with Houston and get their 14 16 pick and Lowry for Drummand.
    I know to much speculation.

    by Hg on 6/25/2012 4:17 AM
  84. interesting thought, Hg. looks like the rockets just traded Chase Budinger to the timberwolves for the 18th pick. the speculation is that they're trying to position themselves to make a strong run at a Dwight Howard trade. now houston has picks 14, 16 and 18.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/26/2012 6:49 AM
  85. @Kassandra:
    yes that came out after I posted above. So that probably takes the chance of getting MKG. I myself like Drummand and Marshall with another seasoned PG to help out with Marshall. I do believe that Marshall is the best all around PG in the draft. I know I am at the minority, but as I said in your blog. I trust the FO, and Like you, I will support anybody we get.

    by Hg on 6/26/2012 7:19 AM
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