Jun 25

It's a Matter of Trust

By Kassandra Posted in: Blazers
We all have our own ideas of what our team should do in this Thursday's NBA draft.

In fact, if you're looking at the big picture of this retooling, your outlook might just be different from everyone else in the BlazerNation. Sure, you may see similarities between your plan and your friends', but somewhere, out there, there's going to be at least the minute of variations. Suffice to say, the options for the Blazers are seemingly limitless. In other words, anything could happen.

Many say we should simply draft the best player available. Of course, the best player available strategy can be highly subjective. You think this player is the best; I think another player is the best, and still another thinks yet another player is the best. It goes without saying that the Blazer draft braintrust is spending countless hours trying to figure this out as well. Simply put, best player available is in the eye of the beholder.

What if when our respective picks come up, there are basically two best players available? Who do we pick then? Who decides? What if one of the players fills a need while the other does not? Do we automatically select the player who fills the need?

Speaking of team needs; it's no secret the largest two holes to fill are center and point guard. There are those who feel addressing those first with our draft picks -- primarily the lottery picks. In a draft as deep as this year's is, players at those positions could be available when our picks come up.

Then again, we could always trade one or both of the picks in the first round (not to mention those two second-round picks) -- either to position ourselves differently in the draft or to acquire another player or two. New GM Neil Olshey has used the term "assets" to describe the draft picks and, personally, I like that term. We can do whatever we want with these number 6, 11, 40 and 41 selections. However, I would be more interested in seeing us play around with the second rounders in trade talks than sending away two lottery picks in a draft such as this one.

Will Neil Olshey use our picks or trade them?

In the end, we all want the same thing in this draft; and that is for our team to end up stronger for next season. Additionally, we want to avoid something. We don't want to make a major draft blunder.

Nearly three decades after the fact, there are those still criticizing the taking of Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan in 1984. There are no left over draft personnel from that draft, so we may just be safe there!

We keep hearing 20/20 hindsight from naysayers for selecting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant.in 2007. Now, while it's plain that Durant's career has panned out better than Oden's, it's unfair to judge a draft based on two players' NBA experience. Neither player had played a single minute in an NBA uniform. You can only judge them from their college performances and, you'll be hard pressed to convince this Blazers fan that Oden was not the best prospect in that draft. Basically, we took the best player available who fit our largest need and, as we all know, injuries prevented Oden from panning out for us. I chalk that up to horrible luck rather than a draft mistake.

That being said, we certainly want to avoid something like that happening this year. We want this draft -- and the possible trade activities which may or may not come with it -- to create the giant impact which will put us back on the playoff map and help to make us championship contenders in the very near future.

We've got an experienced general manager in place and a very strong scouting team has been working year-around. What we need is to have trust that these people have a long-term and complete plan to take this team where we all want it to go. We need to have trust that these people will start with the draft, make smart trade decisions and keen free agency pick ups. We need to trust that, with all the options available to us, these people will make the correct decisions to take us to the next step.

When we have fans as passionate about our team as we in the BlazerNation are, that trust can be difficult to muster.

I have my preferences in how I'd like this draft to go, which players we select and whether to keep the picks or trade them but, I'm pretty sure the people who make the big bucks (as well as our owner who pays those big bucks) already have much of the plan in place. Even though I may disagree with specific selections, I have to know they have the best intentions in mind and in heart.

Knowing that, I trust they'll make the moves to best help our team.

One last thing: Even though I may wish for one selection or another, the players we select will be Blazers and I will support them. That's simply my instinct and I trust my instinct.


In Kassandra's Words features blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end; players come and go; our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @PDXKass


  1. Nice blog, but I am a bit sad you did not name the players you are interested in. I have been dying to know after all of our discussions.

    by cmeese47 on 6/25/2012 8:37 PM
  2. Hey miss Kassandra, a great blog as usual. I have more trust in the FO of choosing the best player for us; and that is a fact.

    Thank you for putting in so much effort.

    by Hg on 6/25/2012 10:25 PM
  3. @cmeese47: those I would select, at least the players on that list have changed a couple of times. i haven't zeroed in on just oneor two guys since i know it's goihg to take more than one player to make a difference in the lineup. i don't think working with blinders on is an effective way to go into a draft. there may be one or two scenarios out there to which i'm leaning, and i may mention them in a blog tomorrow.

    @Hg: i think when it comes down for it, that's all we can do; other than throwing out the occassional player idea, it's not going to do us much good to get all worked up. that's the point of this blog. at some point, it's best to sit back & enjoy the ride.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/26/2012 6:07 AM
  4. oops, sorry for the typos guys; just goes to show you shouldn't submit your comment on your android while not wearing your glasses! lol

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/26/2012 6:51 AM
  5. I like what u said w/ the "... Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan in 1984. There are no left over draft personnel from that draft, so we may just be safe there!" Hahaha! I hope ur right ;) Our chances of selecting a high potential dud r currently the slimmest eva! :)

    Also, I like another thing u said w/ a slight clarification & edit: ""Seasons begin and end; players (other team's players ;) come and go; our Blazers (former good guy Blazers that helped our cause i.e. Dante Cunningham! :) are forever[!!!](gotta add the "!!!" bc it gives ppl a sense of some good passion ;)"

    by Simpson on 6/26/2012 7:03 AM
  6. I posted somewhere right after we hired Oshley that the guy knows way more than I will ever no about the draft and free agency. Let him do his job I say! My instincts have been to draft bigs across the board and get a young vet point guard free agent. We have shooters if we have a great point guard. If the rumors that we're going after Waiters are true, then I suspect we've decided to bring in Freeland as a big. Love is unconditional trust and I love the Blazers! Let it unfold Thursday and I hope it's a splash! My dream draft pick is Robinson..anyway we could get him. I always ask myself, is the young big guy in the draft better than Kurt and Joel? Is he better than Thabeet? Freeland? Robinson in my opinion is. Drummond is not.

    by riverman on 6/26/2012 8:36 AM
  7. @Kass you make a good point about not getting locked in with so many options but I do think it is necessary to at least have some targets, which I am sure you do.

    by cmeese47 on 6/26/2012 10:28 AM
  8. @Simpson: at least i hope we don't have another such blunder! oh, and i like my tagline just the way it is; if you want to see a different tagline, put it on your own blog!

    @riverman: i would prefer to address the needs at center through the draft and get our pf via free agency or a trade. maybe i'm old-fashioned, but i don't want to pass the keys of the franchise over to a rookie. Drummond is a risk, but it could be a good pick. it's just hard to say at this point.

    @cmeese47: the problem is that mine have changed, and i also think something is going to happen regarding trades over the next couple of days, so listing my target at this point seems premature. that's really the only source of my hesitation to throw out names. that was kind of one of the aims of writing on this particular subject.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/26/2012 1:33 PM
  9. @ Kass, sorry, I wasn't trying to tell u to change ur tagline; I was just giving u my take on it ;) I should've phrased things differently. Hahaha! No hard feelings?

    by Simpson on 6/26/2012 3:18 PM
  10. @Simpson: no, none. i was kidding about that part. you'll actually see my updated mock draft, my Mock 2.0, tomorrow night.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 6/26/2012 4:39 PM
  11. @Kass: Coo :) Look forward to it ;)

    by Simpson on 6/26/2012 5:34 PM
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