FanPost

Blazers still hanging on to 12 pick

After this last week it's looking a little more likely that Portland will keep it's pick. The Blazers solidified their position by going on a timely 5 game losing skid and are three games behind 13th and three games ahead of 11th with 8 games to go.

The two teams ahead of Portland that Portland could pass would be Milwaukee and Dallas. However, in order for Milwaukee to fall below Portland they would have to fall out of the playoffs where they have a 6 game lead on Philadelphia with 9 games to go. But then Philadelphia, which is the team behind Portland would then pass Portland (by becoming a playoff team) and the Blazers would simply drop to 11th and if Milwaukee fell below them they would go back to 12th.

That leaves Dallas as the only team that could realistically spoil the draft party in Portland.

Here's the current draft order that accounts for the 13 protected picks this year:

Position - Team
1 Charlotte Bobcats
2 Orlando Magic
3 Cleveland Cavaliers
4 Phoenix Suns
5 Detroit Pistons
6 New Orleans Hornets
7 Sacramento Kings
8 Oklahoma City Thunder
9 Minnesota Timberwolves
10 Washington Wizards
11 Philadelphia 76ers
12 *Portland Trail Blazers
13 Dallas Mavericks
14 *Phoenix Suns
15 Milwaukee Bucks
16 Boston Celtics
17 Utah Jazz
18 Chicago Bulls
19 Atlanta Hawks
20 Atlanta Hawks
21 Utah Jazz
22 Brooklyn Nets
23 Indiana Pacers
24 New York Knicks
25 Los Angeles Clippers
26 Denver Nuggets
27 Minnesota Timberwolves
28 Oklahoma City Thunder
29 San Antonio Spurs
30 *Cleveland Cavaliers

* Picks that could conceivably still change hands. The Lakers are the key here. If the Lakers finish in the playoffs then they get the 30th pick and Cleveland gets the Lakers pick instead of Phoenix (currently 14th).

The likely possible scenarios for Portland (my approximate odds):

1. Philadelphia passes Portland and Portland does not pass Dallas (30-70). Blazers Finish with 11th pick.

2. Philadelphia passes Portland and Portland passes Dallas (unlikely). Blazers finish with 12th pick.

3. Philadelphia does not pass Portland and Portland does not pass Dallas (60-40). Blazers Finish with 12th pick.

4. Philadelphia does not pass Portland but Portland passes Dallas (10-80). Blazers finish with 13th pick and give it to Charlotte.

The interesting game for Portland coming up will be Dallas on Sunday. If the Blazers lose this game then Portland passing Dallas becomes extremely unlikely. Comparing Portland and Philadelphia's schedule I can imagine a scenario where Philadelphia passes Portland.

Portland: vs Memphis, vs Houston, vs Dallas, vs L.A. Lakers, vs Oklahoma City, @ Denver, @ L.A. Clippers, vs Golden State

Philadelphia: @ Charlotte, @ Atlanta, @ Miami, @ Brooklyn, vs Atlanta, @ Washington, vs Cleveland, @ Detroit, @ Indiana

Dallas: @ Denver, @ Sacramento, @ Portland, vs Phoenix, vs Denver, @ New Orleans, vs Memphis, vs New Orleans

I'm not hoping for the Blazers to lose as much as it simply interesting to follow because of all of the protected pick drama. Here's hoping Dallas makes the playoffs!

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