Pre-draft there was a lot of talk about the Blazers need at PG and Center. Lillard was undoubtedly the best PG and the right pick at 6. Not up for debate.
We know Leonard is now a Blazer and I assume most of us love his character and drive and are impressed so far by his play on the court. But just for healthy debate let's revisit this idea:
1. Could the Blazers have drafted Drummond?
Probably. Drummond went 9th, two picks above the blazers spot. One would assume that Toronto at 8 would have been open to trading down, since their man Terrence Ross would have been available at 11 for sure. There is no saying for certain that their are players that Toronto would want from the Blazers, but a 2nd round pick( or 2, future etc.) and the salary reduction from 8 to 11 seems like it would have worked for Toronto to get the same player. So let's say for arguments sake, yes the blazers could have moved up to get Drummond.
2. Should the Blazer have drafted Drummond?
*Stats on a per game basis.
Just looking at stats, Drummond looks like the better player. He is more productive in every category except FT% and Turnovers. Drummond has done well grabbing rebounds and defending which is what you want your young center to do.
It's also important to note that even though both players are coming off the bench in similar roles and with similar minutes as the back up centers, the dynamic of each team is quite different.
It's difficult to make future projections after just 15-16 games, but both of these players seem to be progressing fairly well so far, and both teams hope they have high ceilings. I think the immediate worry of Drummond being a bust can be ruled out, although he may never live up to being (what could have been) a top pick, he already looks like a very useful and athletic big. Leonard is struggling a bit offensively, defensively and rebounding the ball, but he does seem to have all the tools and work ethic to become a very useful center.
I will also add that it is way too early to tell if either move was "right" as both players still have years to develop and mature.
I just want to see some folks thoughts on this after seeing both players run around a bit in the NBA.
* I will also note that Meyers is one of my favorite Blazers right now (is attitude and commitment are amazing), but Drummond's game changing potential is hard to ignore.