Drafting: Up, Down, In, or Out?

We're going to shift focus from the season past to the year ahead.  The first event of that new year will almost certainly be the draft.  At first glance the Blazers' prospects seem rather pedestrian with the #22 selection.  But as you've no doubt heard, at least a couple high-ranking teams might be looking to trade picks this year.  With Portland's track history, who knows what could happen?  So let's open the proceedings by surveying everyone's best guesses.

Forget trading up past the #4 pick as that possibility is incredibly remote.  But let's assume there's a chance that a team from Minnesota at #4 down to Los Angeles at #8 would be willing to trade.  What would you move for one of those upper-level picks and who (or at least what) would you want to use it on?

If that's not your style, we'll also open up the possibility of getting a lower-level lottery selection, somewhere between #9 and #14.  What are the criteria there?

If you do have the Blazers moving up, what do you think the real likelihood is?  Are you wishing or do you think there's a chance?

If rising up the order isn't your thing, who do you think the Blazers might be able to get in their upper 20's range?  Or is there a guy who might be available in the lower teens with a minor swap on Portland's part?  If Portland keeps their pick, what's the strategy this year?

Some folks might advocate ditching the pick altogether.  Financial considerations could play a part.  Maybe there't just nobody significant available in Portland's range in this year's draft.  If you're one of these folks, let us know why and tell us what you'd prefer to see instead.

The floor is open.  Plot Portland's strategy through the next few weeks and convince us why your preferred outcome is best, or at least your predicted outcome most likely.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com) 

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