Today we continue our perusal of possible draft targets for the Portland Trail Blazers by looking at a name that's gotten hotter in recent weeks, Morehead State senior forward Kenneth Faried.
Is it possible?
Absolutely. Faried is a guy the Blazers might be able to grab with their existing pick or with a swap of modest proportions, possibly involving cash as the only other consideration.
What Would Faried Offer?
This is a guy fans would love from moment one. He's the classic "just a shade too short" power forward who makes up for it with energy, hard-nosed play, and absolutely no give-up at all. His calling card spouts monstrous rebounding totals. Most of those rebounds were manufactured, not granted. Going back and watching tape it often looks like he is the only player on the floor when it comes to retrieving the ball. You're almost surprised when anybody else gets one. Plus Faried is a senior with a long track record of willing defense, blocking shots...anything you need. The moment this guy grabs his first rebound in a Portland uniform his name will be engraved in power-forward-loving Blazer fans' hearts.
The bad news? He's got no offensive game if he can't put the ball back off of a miss. Long players will bother his shot no matter how many moves he tries to make and almost all NBA power forwards will look long to him. It's less that his moves are bad than predictable. Unless you tower over or out-bulk an opponent handily that's the kiss of death in this league, particularly in the post. DraftExpress mined the Synergy numbers to determine that Faried attempted but 13 jump shots all last season. Depending on the lineup around him that could limit his big-minute potential no matter how high his energy level is. One certainly shudders at contemplating a lineup featuring Wesley Matthews, Kenneth Faried, Marcus Camby, and any other two players on this team. Those other two players are going to have a hard time getting any kind of decent look.
What Would Drafting Faried Mean?
It probably means that the Blazers are willing to go forward with their current crop of players, don't necessarily see the need to find a starter in the draft, and want a complementary player that they'd never be sorry they took. They'd also be filling a hole behind LaMarcus Aldridge with a different type of player than he, though one might question how Faried would fit with any of Portland's true centers.
The Bottom Line
This would be a feel-good pick but probably not a definitive one, particularly in the short term. There would never be reason to question it. On the other hand Faried's offensive limitations would make his insertion questionable in a lineup that seems to lack scoring punch anyway and in a rotation which would see him subbing for the team's biggest scorer. It'd be a pick where you concentrated on the ample positives, hoping that the guy can become a linchpin at the 7th-9th spots in a championship-level lineup. On the other hand you'd also have to count and ask how many of those kind of players one team can field. Either way, there's no harm. He'll be appreciated anytime, anywhere with any team. He may not be the Next Big Answer, but he'll not be a bust.
Your thoughts? How would you feel if the Blazers picked up the Morehead State rebounding prodigy? Weigh in below.