Draft Prospect Board, Version 2.0

In case you missed the first edition of the Draft Prospect Board, here's a summary...

The following draft board ranks the players who have worked out for the Blazers in Portland only. This board takes into account a number of things...

  • My impressions of the players given the limited amount of time I am able to see them play/shoot combined with their off-court demeanor
  • Statements made by Chad Buchanan, Nate McMillan and Kevin Pritchard and other workout attendees (team employees and/or media)
  • Player rankings provided by Draft Express and Chad Ford  
  • Positional needs: If two prospects are equal but play different positions, tie goes to the position where the Blazers lack depth.  
  • Second Round Bias: The Blazers currently have 1 first round pick and 4 second round picks so it's mathematically likelier that we'll see second round prospects on next year's roster than first round prospects.

This board is not an attempt to predict who the Blazers will select, who will be the best professional or who is the best player today.  

Instead, this board aims to answer the question "Who would I be least surprised to see drafted by the Blazers this year, regardless of pick?"  

Draft Prospect Board v2.0, 06/16/09

            Player -- Projected NBA Position -- Current Team -- Previous Rank

  1. Omri Casspi -- 3 -- Israel -- #1 
  2. Wayne Elllington -- 2 -- UNC -- #2 
  3. Chris Johnson -- 4 -- LSU -- #3
  4. Danny Green -- 2 -- UNC -- #4
  5. DeMarre Carroll -- 4 -- Missouri  -- #5 
  6. Marcus Thornton -- 2 -- LSU -- first time on board 
  7. Jerel McNeal -- 1 -- Marquette -- #8
  8. Jeff Adrien -- 4 -- Connecticut -- #9
  9. Jonas Jerebko -- 3 -- Sweden -- first time on board 
  10. Jermaine Taylor -- 2 -- Central Florida -- first time on board

Thoughts

The top five positions on the board remain unchanged although I went back and forth for quite awhile deciding exactly where Marcus Thornton fits. Today's three new additions are Thornton, Jonas Jerebko and Jermaine TaylorClick here to read summaries of their games and their workouts.

I slot Thornton below both Ellington and Green on this board because the team seemed slightly more impressed by Ellington's refined, catch-and-shoot game and Green's defense and size.  I think they liked Thornton too but he is more of a scorer rather than a pure shooter and the team seems to be leaning towards shooters. It's somewhat difficult to envision the team drafting an undersized scorer like Thornton unless it comes down to "Best Player Available" and they simply can't pass him up. Thornton's high skill level likely gives the Blazers only once chance to draft him and I think there will be other players available at #24 that they would prefer.

Jerebko slots into the #9 position because of his defensive skills, physicality and because if you stretched Petteri Koponen like silly putty he would look like Jerebko.  His inability to hit from distance is a red flag in my opinion and that's what separates him from a guy like Casspi (who has shot mechanic issues himself, as I discussed previously, but at least he can make uncontested jumpers) for the Blazers. I think Jerebko is probably off the board by the time the Blazers pick for the second time and I have a hard time seeing them using the #24 pick on him.  

Jermaine Taylor winds up at the #10 position despite being ranked higher than Jerel McNeal on most draft boards because Taylor, like Thornton, is a tweener (most naturally an undersized 2) known more for his versatile scoring game.  McNeal offers better defense and ball-handling and would seem to have a better chance keeping up with NBA point guards. It's hard to see the Blazers using an early second round pick on Taylor. It's somewhat easier to see them using a late second on McNeal.

In any case, the last two paragraphs are somewhat moot because Jerebko and Taylor will find themselves dropped off this board after tomorrow's workout, which feature big(ish) names like Tyler Hansbrough, Darren Collison and Jeff Pendergraph. 

Dropped off previous board because they withdrew from draft 

  • Greivis Vasquez  -- 1 -- Maryland -- #6
  • Damion James  -- 3/4 -- Texas -- #7

Bumped off Board

  • Jeremy Pargo -- 1 -- Gonzaga -- #10

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)

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