I'll start by saying I'm not anti Kevin Pritchard, but I just wanted to give Portland fans a little reality check. Granted, from the players he's had to choose from in the drafts, he's done an okay job, but I wouldn't go much further than that. I'll give a few examples by year starting with 2006.
In 2006, the Blazers drafted:
#2 LA - Above average, but soft. I'll be sold on him once he puts the power in his forward.
#6 B-Roy - Very good pick, but just injury prone enough at the wrong times to make him iffy.
#27 Sergio - Bust
#30 Free land - TBD, but it's been 4 years, and still not worthy of the NBA
I guess 50% ain't bad, but not that great either. Especially considering we could have had:
#8 Rudy Gay
#21 Rajon Rondo
#47 Paul Millsap
Did we pass on Rondo because of character? Those other 2 guys would have worked out just fine. I know hindsight is 20/20, but this is how you actually determine the effectiveness of someone's drafting ability. From this one draft, we could have had Roy, Gay, Rondo, and Millsap. That would have been one heck of a core. I stand corrected-- one of those players would have to have been left out. Close though.
2007- TERRIBLE! Arguably KP's worst draft.
Durant/Oden - Moot point? Yes, "everybody" would have picked Oden, and everybody overlooked the youngest scoring champion in NBA history. Missed opportunity to show everybody a REAL Pritch-slap! I'm still hopeful that Oden will have a few injury free years. Double-double seasons from here on out. That would help relieve the sting.
#24 Rudy - Bust. - Great for repairing face of the franchise and bringing more ladies to the games. Exciting to watch when he's on, but consistently failed to step up when needed. If he stays and steps up, I'll gladly eat my words.
#30 P etteri Koponen - TBD, very possible bust
#37 McRoberts - Bust
#52 Taureen Green - Bust - no longer even in the NBA
I would have rather had these 3 guys:
#26 Aaron Brooks
#48 Marc Gasol
#56 Ramon Sessions
Between Rajon Rondo and Aaron Brooks, Kevin Pritchard passed on two of the best point guards in the NBA.
We did get Bayless and Batum here. Other than the top 10, it was a very weak draft. Batum especially was an incredible pick. If we had taken Brooks or Rondo, our Bayless pick might have been great trade bait.
#22 Victor Claver - TBD - Possibly a very good pick
#31 Jeff Pendergraph - Meh - 2.7 ppg 2.5 rpg in 10 mpg
#33 Dante Cunningham - Meh - 3.9 ppg 2.5 rpg in 11 mpg
#55 Patrick Mills - TBD
I love what these guys brought to the team this past year. JP, DC, and Mills show a lot of promise. Good guys, and fun to watch. Not bad picks.
It will take a couple of years to know for sure, but 5 other players did have promising rookie seasons. None would have been starters for the Blazers, but all are already pretty solid backups.
#23 Omri Casspi SF/PF - 10.3 ppg 5.5 rpg 25 mpg
#26 Taj Gibson PF - 9 ppg, 7.5 rpg in 27 mpg
#37 DeJuan Blair PF/C - 7.8 ppg 6.4 in 18 mpg
#39 Jonas Jerebko SF/PF
#44 Chase Budinger SF