A Modest Critique of Kevin Pritchard

Before I start, let me say that I am very glad Kevin Pritchard is the GM of the Blazers.  I think he's done a great job and is one of the top 5 GMs in the league.

However, I want to temper the KP love around here just a bit with a few items.

Item #1:  The Blazers did not do the best job in the 2006 Draft

KP's signiture move was the Telfair+Ratliff for Lafrentz+#7 pick trade, then swapping Roy for Foye with McHale.  This was a brilliant job of identifying a player and doing what was necessary to get him.  KP deserves every sliver of credit that he's gotten for this move.

However, it needs to be said that LaMarcus Aldridge is not the best Power Forward from the 2006 draft.  That player is Paul Millsap.  Millsap is a much tougher player, much better rebounder, better defender and more efficient scorer.  Utah nabbed him in the 2nd round.  That was the best pick of the draft, by quite a bit.  Utah also found another terrific player, in Ronnie Brewer, with the 14th pick.  I think Utah did a better job getting the most value of their 2 picks than the Blazers did.  Also, while Danny Ainge foolishly gave up the #7 pick for Telfair, he made up for it with two brilliant selections in that draft, nabbing Rajon Rondo (who may well be the 2nd best player in the draft after Roy, though Millsap has a case also) with the 21st pick and Leon Powe in the 2nd round.  Pritchard had a great draft, no question, but he didn't own the rest of the league as is popularly believed among Blazer fans.

Back to Aldridge.  LMA is a good player, with a lot of upside remaining.  He's potentially a great fit with Roy and Oden.  However, he shoots too many jumpers and is not a good rebounder.  I hesitate to call him "soft" but he certainly isn't "tough."  That brings me to my modest criticism of KP:

Item #2:  Kevin Pritchard loves finesse and lottery picks, which isn't what you want in a role player

Finesse players are fine.  They can be effective.  LMA is a good fit in the Blazer starting lineup, despite my above criticisms of him.  However, if you are going to have a player like LMA in the starting lineup, its nice to have a high motor brusier off the bench.  KP, however, loves to fill out the roster with "fallen angels."  KP used that phrase after acquiring Frye (a former #8 pick) and Diogu (a former #9 pick).  Raef is a former lottery pick as well.  There is something to be said for "buying low" on this type of player, in hopes they'll remind everyone why they were drafted so highly.  If they are mostly going to be riding pine, however, there isn't much chance of pumping up their value.  In short, "fallen angels" make bad role players.  Second rounders and undrafted players, who have had to earn everything in pro hoops, tend to have bigger motors and be more productive in short minutes.  The Blazers need to have fewer Fryes and Diogus on the bench and more Carl Landry type players.


Again, I think KP is a great GM and this is a relatively modest critique of him.  I don't want KP to go anywhere.  However, I sometimes feel the KP love is out of hand in Blazer Land, and I want to keep things even keel.  KP is human, after all.

Go Blazers.

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