Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus has announced the availability of Pro Basketball Prospectus 2012-13. In a cool twist, former Portland Trail Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard wrote the book's foreword this year.
You can download the PDF version of the book for $10.02.
Here's a snippet from his Blazers chapter, which also includes projections and comparisons for the entire team, including the rookies, as always.
SCHOENE projection 32-50 (West 11th)
Projected Offensive Rating 107.5 (23)
Projected Defensive Rating 110.7 (23)
While Olshey has rejected the term rebuilding, it's hard to avoid that conclusion from looking at the completed roster. Though Claver and Freeland are older than the typical NBA newcomer and have played against some of the league's top players in the Olympics, they are still rookies. Add in Leonard, Lillard and talented second-round pick Will Barton and the Blazers will have five first-year players on the roster. Portland has no likely rotation players in their 30s and only Price is older than 27. The Blazers' projected weighted age, 25.1, is fifth youngest in the league.
To oversee this young group, Olshey hired veteran Dallas Mavericks assistant Terry Stotts, formerly a head coach in both Atlanta and Milwaukee. When he was introduced in Portland, Stotts indicated his fondness for the style of play employed by the Blazers' 1977 championship team. Replicating that kind of ball movement will depend heavily on Lillard's development. Because he was a shoot-first guard playing with relatively weak teammates at Weber State, SCHOENE sees Lillard posting a poor assist rate for a point guard. As a result, Portland has the league's lowest projected rate of assists per field goal.
Surely, Lillard will exceed that projection. He demonstrated his ability to both pass and score at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, where he shared MVP honors with Memphis guard Josh Selby. How much better Lillard is as a playmaker will go a long way toward determining where in the pack of West lottery teams the Blazers finish. More importantly, Portland needs Lillard and Leonard to succeed to add talent to the core of Aldridge and Batum. Barring lottery luck, the Blazers are unlikely to add an impact piece in the
next few seasons, so improvement will come primarily from within the roster.
Part of the reluctance to embrace a rebuilding project can be tied to Aldridge's situation. While the forward just completed the second season of a five-year contract extension and told reporters in April that he's comfortable as the centerpiece of a young team, Portland fans are already speculating that he might become the latest superstar to plan his exit from a small market. The Blazers will have to show signs of progress over the next few seasons to convince Aldridge to stick around for the long term. Portland has to hope changing course took them off last year's disastrous path.
The print book will go on sale soon. I'm sure I can coax KP2 into doing a book giveaway contest for Blazersedge readers to coincide with the release.
Buy this book and learn more about basketball. Nothing else needs to be said.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter