One of the most forgotten transactions in team history might be the selection of Moses Malone by the Trailblazers in the ABA dispersal draft. With Bill Walton and the newly acquired Maurice Lucas already on the roster, executives decided to move Malone to Buffalo.
But what if they hadn't?
Malone was one of the most dominant bigs in the game in the early '80s and a driving force behind Philadelphia's 82-83 squad that went 65-17 and nearly swept the playoffs. This was the famous "Fo', Fo', Fo'" sqaud.
Imagine if the Blazers had kept Malone.
Imagine a big man rotation of Walton and Malone with Lucas coming off the bench to spell both.
What about the '77-78 season in which the franchise stormed to a 50-10 record and stumbled to the finish line at 58-24, on the heels of a Bill Walton foot injury?
Now imagine the 1978 draft. Coming off of back to back championships, and with the #1 selection overall, the team's most glaring need might just be SF. The best SF in the 1978 draft was none other than the "Hick from French Lick," Larry Bird.
With a healthy Moses Malone and Maurice Lucas the Blazers might have handled Walton a bit differently. There's really no telling how different he might have been, but even without him you're talking about a the following starting lineup in 1979 (which is the year after we traded Walton):
SF - Larry Bird
PF - Maurice Lucas
C - Moses Malone
SG - Bob Gross (assuming we don't get Ron Brewer in the draft)
PG - Lionel Hollins
The entire core of this team is under 26: Holins is 25, Lucas 26, Bird is 21, Malone is 23.
And we also still have the 1980 1st rounder from San Diego that we received in the Bill Walton deal (7th pick overall).
There's no telling what might have happened, but it is interesting to speculate how different those years might have been if we'd made a few choices differently.