Draft Day Open Thread: Predictions and Wishes

Welcome to Draft Day 2011!  We're opening this thread in the morning to contain all catch-all comments about the upcoming draft.  If a post goes up about a specific topic please discuss it there but if you just want to shoot the breeze about the draft in general and Portland's role in it, this is your place.  This is also the thread to register your official predictions of what the Blazers will do today and/or your fondest wishes/suggestions for what they should do.

Personally I believe the Blazers have to be careful here.  They either need a solid extra-base hit (home run if they can manage) or they need to foul off some pitches and wait for another at-bat.  The solid hit would almost have to come in the form of a major trade.  I believe they'll be trying.  If they can't pull it off, though, they'll have a hard time making a splash with this crop of draftees.  

As the critical moment approaches and every draftee has been scrutinized (i.e. you've lived with them all for months now) a certain myopia sets in.  Your pool of possibilities, once value-neutral, now must be ranked by desirability.  Once that is accomplished it becomes awfully easy to define the most-desirable possibilities as "good" even if, when viewed as a whole, none of them are actually that great.  This relative definition of value can overwhelm the more universal/absolute definition in the heat of the moment.  It's possible to get ecstatic about this year's "best" prospect, valuing it as highly as the best prospects of years gone by when in reality it's not even close...just more immediate.

It'd be awfully easy to go crazy over a Bismack Biyombo or Kemba Walker among this year's crop of candidates...and with good reason.  They're among the more exciting of the bunch.  But how excited would you get about either player when compared to the best prospects of, say, the last four drafts?  Bottom Line:  a Top 7 pick this year is not the same as a Top 7 pick in 2008 and shouldn't be valued as highly.  Bottom Line #2:  Unless you have the first pick (maybe the second) you're drafting a back-up for the foreseeable future on this team.  Don't forget that in the heat of the moment.  All things considered, I might be happier with a drafted reserve at #21 than a drafted reserve at #5.

Obviously if the Blazers are convinced they have THE Ultimate Guy in their draft crosshairs they should get him, but they had better be that sure.  Otherwise you're taking a home run swing at a wiffle ball.  Even if you make contact you're not going to get the results you expect.  If somebody is throwing white plastic balls grab the little yellow plastic bat and take the best cut you can.  Leave the Louisville Slugger at home.

Back in the Drexler years when Portland drafted low they considered their job well-done if they got a quality reserve out of the pick.  Unless that true home run comes along, this would be that kind of situation.

Share your thoughts, official predictions, and draft-day wishes below.

--Dave (blazersub@yahoo.com)

P.S.  Don't worry, we'll open a fresh open thread as the draft hour approaches.

P.P.S.  We'll also be covering every pick live, updating the draft post accordingly.  And you KNOW if anything happens in the meantime you'll hear it here immediately!  Enjoy the day!

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