First off, I apologize for the redundancy. There have been a lot of these "rebuilding" posts lately. I'm sorry that I unable to contribute more quality content to the site, but I gotta do it. It's also important to note that this plan won't be for everybody. Some of you may be for it, and that great, but I think the majority of Blazer fans have grown to love some of the current guys on the roster and don't want to see them leave. They also aren't interesting in a complete rebuild. Personally, I'm not happy with just being a playoff team. I wanna compete for titles.
Step 1: We somehow need to acquire two late first round picks. There's lots of talent in the draft even throughout the 2nd round so acquiring the first of the two picks shouldn't be that hard. Package the two 2nd round picks, and maybe cash to move up. Teams like Chicago at 29, OKC at 28 or Miami at 27 may be interested in a two for one as they're already in championship contention and could see the value in adding even more picks to help with depth and bench production. Draft express has some interesting prospects projected to go in the 2nd round: Jae Crowder, Kyle O'Quinn, Jared Cunningham, Doron Lamb etc.
The 2nd of the two picks may be a little harder to acquire. In the past we've been able to buy picks but this year is a little different because as I said earlier there's starter level talent all throughout the draft. One team who could possibly be a seller though is Indiana. They've got to resign Hibbert, and Hill. Eventually, they'll have to resign P. George. Plus, they're rumored to want to sign Eric Gordon. They may be interested in selling that late 1st round pick. Their roster is pretty set, and having to pay a first rounder may screw up their plans especially when he'll end up riding the bench anyway.
Target: After we acquire the two picks, we'll use one of them on Tyshawn Taylor. I like him for his size, defense and athleticism. Whether we like it or not OKC has set the bar in the WC and if we're gonna go anywhere we'll have to get past the Thunder. That means matching up with Westbrook. Not only is Taylor a good defender he can score as well. He avg. 16pts per game 47% from the field and close to 40% from the 3pt line. The best part is, unlike Kendall Marshall, Taylor's weaknesses as a PG are all coachable. He turns it over (a lot), and has poor shot selection. A good coach can work that out of him, but all the things that can't be taught like instincts, athleticism, ball handling etc, Taylor possess, and I will never fault a guy for turning the ball over when he's being aggressive and trying to make something happen. Lillard is a great player but if Drummond is available at 6th then we should go big. Taylor has good value with the 29th pick and could put up similar numbers.
Step 2: Move Nic Batum. It's not even a question of whether he'll get better or not. The question is how good does he have to be in order for us to compete with the best and what's the likelihood that he'll get there? To answer the first part of the question we need to look at the competition.
A. Davis/Gordon (maybe)
These are just a few of the duos in the Western Conference. To be completely honest I'd take almost all of them over Lamarcus and Nic Batum. To answer the first part of the question how good does Nic have to be to compete with the best? You can see from the list that he's got to be near All-NBA level. What's the likelihood he'll get there? I'd say slim to none. Nothing personal, but that's a huge jump. In his 5th year to go from a guy who can't even sniff an Allstar game to a guy who reaches All-NBA recognition. The probability is low. I think it's time to cash in on Batum. If we want to compete we need elite talent and Nic Batum is good but not elite. Toronto is rumored to want a Veteran SF and they're willing to trade their pick. I know Nic is a Restricted free agent, so we can't trade him right now, but how about a little back door dealing? His agent said, come free agency, they wont wait and will accept the first good offer he gets, so it doesn't sound like they care where they go as long as they get paid. If all parties involved agree in principle on a trade to be executed July 1st. Toronto gets Nic and our other late 1st round pick that we acquired from Indiana. Portland gets the 8th pick and Toronto's 1st rounder next year.
Step 3: Move down from 8th. Offer up the pick we acquired from Toronto to Houston for the 14 and 16th pick. Toronto will draft for Houston. Houston will draft for us and we'll draft late for Toronto. Again, all the pieces will be moved on July 1st.
So come draft day we would hold the 6th, 11th, 14th, 16th and 29th pick.
Turn those picks into:
6th pick Andre Drummond
11th pick Austin Rivers
14th Perry Jones or Terrence Jones which ever is still on the board.
16th Arnett Moultrie
29th Tyshawn Taylor
Step 4: After playing multiple rookies all season the Blazers will more than likely be in the lottery again. Hopefully the pick we acquired from Toronto for Nic Batum will be in the lottery as well. That's two lotto picks in two consecutive years. Plus, we haven't spent any of money from FA. I'd say package the two picks and try to move up for Shabazz Muhammud. Another option is to offer up the picks and Wesley for Harden (Sorry Timmay), or some other FA. We've still got cap room to take on talent. We've also got a ton of young talent to entice teams with.
So there you have it. That's how I'd rebuild the Blazers. What do you think?