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Blazers Drop To #6 In ESPN's Future Power Rankings

The Portland Trail Blazers continue to stumble in ESPN's Future Power Rankings, Chad Ford and John Hollinger's measure for which teams will own the NBA in years to come. The Blazers slot in at #6 now, behind (in order) the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets. Ford and Hollinger write... ----------------------------------- Portland's management dropped from No. 4 to No. 10 in this survey based almost entirely on its ham-handed handling of general manager Kevin Pritchard's dismissal. We may never know the real story that led to his ouster, but we do know that one of the league's best talent evaluators was bizarrely shown the door on the day of the draft, and the team allowed itself to limp through a crucial free-agency period with nobody at the tiller. The Blazers righted themselves with the hiring of Rich Cho, but the shadowy "Vulcans" working under Paul Allen in Seattle remain a concern. The other concern for the Blazers is that three key starters, Brandon Roy, Greg Oden and Nicolas Batum, all had serious injuries last season. That trio plus LaMarcus Aldridge is the core of what should be a perennial Western Conference contender. But there are enough question marks in Portland that despite the Blazers' highly rated personnel department, several clubs now outrank them. (Previous rank: 5) ----------------------------------- -- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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