Obviously the draft pick most talked about this year is the lottery pick. But did you know that the other two draft picks Portland holds this year have ended up as reasonably valuable NBA players?
The last pick in the first round offers the Blazers a chance to pick another guy they've always had an eye on. The first pick of the second round isn't a guaranteed 3-year contract, so it offers the Blazers a first round value at a 2nd round price.
Every year, a sad story continues to rear its ugly head: a decent player, initially tabbed to be a mid-first rounder, falls completely out of the first round.
For a European prospect it's always their potentially binding euroleague contract that kills them. For the Americans, it's a guy with a questionable injury, attitude issues, or camp measurements. A PF might register at 6-7... a 6-5 SG might come in at 6-2.
Whatever the case may be, Portland has enough picks in this draft to take risks. And for every 5 risky players taken late, one of them always comes up big.
Gilbert Arenas fell out of the first round but was wearing an All-Star uniform just a few years later...
Players taken with the last pick of the first round, and those drafted with the first pick of the second round:
Out of the NBA
- David Lee, Salim Stoudamire
- David Harrison, Anderson Verejao
- Josh Howard, Maciej Lampe
- Dan Dickau, Steve Logan
- Tony Parker, Trenton Hassell (31 pick: Gilbert Arenas)
- Mark Madsen, Marco Jaric
- Leon Smith, John Celestand
- Nazr Mohammad, Ansu Sesay
- Keith Booth, Serge Zwikker
- Travis Knight, Othella Harrington
- Cory Alexander, Lou Roe
- Brooks Thompson, Deon Thomas
- Malcolm Mackey, Luscious Harris