Why The Blazers Absolutely Have To Trade Up

Let's first take a look at who is currently on the roster.

LaMarcus Aldridge is our best player, and 21.7 ppg with 8 rpg is certainly not something to scoff at. However, he is not a leader. What happened when Roy retired? The team imploded. That's not to say Aldridge was at fault or that Roy could have prevented it, but it happened.

Some say LaMarcus is too soft to take on a lead role on a contending team. I say he is too reserved. I love him on this team and am not advocating the Blazers get rid of him by any means. I'm just saying there needs to be a leader. Someone to mentor young players and lead by example. Aldridge didn't show he could do that this past year.

Looking at the rest of the roster I see a bunch of role players.

Batum is a glue guy. He won't wow you but you won't shake your head at him either. Good defender, good offensive contributor. Good, not great. He's still young, so maybe he can improve, but I don't see him becoming better than Aldridge anytime soon.

Wesley Mathews is a capable starter, but not as good as I thought he was last year. His numbers were down all across the board except for minutes and rebounding. I fear we had him do too much in Roy's absence. In any case, he may have hit his ceiling.

JJ Hickson has to show that he can produce like he did for an entire season. He put up similar numbers in his third year when he was with Cleveland, but then for some reason or other he fell out of favor there and in Sacramento. At any rate, he's a great hustle guy who may just be the second best player on the team.

But that's about the entirety of the roster worth mentioning. No offense to Crawford or Felton, but the rest of the team is pretty interchangeable. Guys can be found through free agency that are at or near the same skill level as those already on the team.

Now look at who is in the NBA finals. The Heat: Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh versus the Thunder: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. Those players are all superstars in this league, and each team has three of them. If what the Blazers are after is a championship, they need to start accumulating star players.

With picks 6 and 11, you are not going to get stars. You might pull off another Brandon Roy, but he was an absolute steal at 6 because of injury concerns. From the late lottery to the end of the draft, there is a huge chance that the drafted player will not make much of an impact.

There is a general consensus that this draft has five or six potential all stars (Davis, Robinson, Kidd-Gilchrist, Beal, Drummond, and Barnes), but at pick 6, you're getting the prospect that no one else wanted. You're getting the player that owners, scouts, coaches, general managers, and fans are all fine with passing up on. They could be wrong, but how likely is that?

Best case scenario at standing pat is you get two capable role players. That's what the team is made up of already. With two lottery picks, you have got to try and trade up to get someone who could be an all star

That's why you've got to trade with the Bobcats. They don't even have role players. Take a chance on that number two pick. He could be three time scoring champ Kevin Durant and he could be the cocky nut-job of Michael Beasley. The thing is, though, at number two there is that chance he could be Kevin Durant. At six there is not. At eleven there definitely is not.

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