First off, let me bust out my Big Board which helps to clarify how I perceive the talent avaible and to some extent how I think the picks we won't be getting (1-3) will likely go. I'm only doing 1-10 although after the top 5 or so the talent is a real crap shoot. Could be gems (I think there are at least two lottery level guys) could be washouts in a couple of years. So here we go.
#1- Nerlens Noel - He's skinny! He tore his ACL AGAIN! etc. etc. Yeah, that's all true, but he is for sure the most obviously talented player in the draft. In my mind he's a PF/C in a Kevin Garnett mold. He's young and offensively as raw as steak tartar, but his defensive instincts are off the charts and I think he is close to a lock for #1.
#2 -Ben McLemore This one is tough...Orlando needs a PG but they also need a SG and McLemore does have NBA talent potential. I feel for Orlando but they almost have to take McLemore here. Who knows, maybe he could pan out.
#3 - Otto Porter Washington needs help, but the don't need a Center (Len) and they don't need a PG (Burke) so I see them taking Porter here and looking to trade Ariza or bringing him off the bench. This pick seems possibly traded and there is some small chance they take Bennet here, but really they should take Porter.
#4 - Alex Len Charlotte is quite likely putting it out there that they are willing to trade this pick and it's a team we should look at trading with. Unfortunately, they have a SG in MKG which is why our possible trade bait of Matthews isn't particularly valuable. It is fortunate for us though if they keep the pick they are unlikely to take Oladipo.
#5 - Victor Oladipo This is where it gets interesting and where I think the Blazers should strike. Phoenix is luke warm at best at SG and will likely take Oladipo if they don't get a better offer. I think we should make them that better offer, more on that below.
#6 - Trey Burke Lets face it the Pelicans roster is about as awkward as their avian namesake. They have Anthony Davis and...as Patton Oswalt once described the KFC famous bowls "A sadness pile in a failure bowl". They are just awful and my condolences to Monty Williams. Valesquez is alright, but they could really use a boost at PG and I think they take Burke unless they are in BPA mode and take Bennet or go for high risk, high reward and take Giannis Adetokunbo or if they are REALLY smart they take Dennis Schroeder here. More on him below. I'm gonna go with the safe pick just for arguments sake and I don't think we will trade for this pick as our high pick guy Oladipo is gone by this point.
#7- Anthony Bennet I think they gotta take Bennet here if he falls this far. Their PF situation is grim and DEAR LORD...someone pass me some scalding hot soapy water to wash my eyeballs I just made the mistake of looking at the King's roster!!!!! They have Cousins and the likely soon to be gone Evans and Outlaw, whom I am fond of but who isn't gonna help that team much. God their roster, especially with Evans likely moving on, is awful and makes ours look amazing. Cheap ownership, plus bad management is an awful, awful combination. I did love that early 2000's Kings team though...
#8- CJ McCollum I think Detroit will go for CJ here, just because he's probably the most talented at this point and they need back court help. Who knows who will be available here. I just needed to fill some space and I'd rather not discuss CJ as a Blazers pick option.
#9 - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Again, this could be anyone at this point, but I think the wolves go for KCP or possibly Shabazz as they need a SG desperately. I'd rather not discuss KCP anymore so I slotted him with the wolves.
And now the one you've all been waiting for...OUR PICK!!!!! And with the #10 pick in the 2013 NBA draft the Portland Trailblazers select....
One of these four guys!
Steven Adams - He's been discussed to death and I think he has TONS of potential and would likely be further along than Leonard in areas we need help, namely defense and rebounding. I disagree with those who say we couldn't have two Centers to develop. We desperately need a top shelf big man coach to work with both of these guys and a vet for them to learn from. Adams actually isn't my favorite pick here if we are picking up a solid veteran Center and IF the team has faith in Meyers (I prefer Adams but that's just me).
Shabazz Muhammed - You know the league is experiencing this really strange dearth of talent at the SG position after what seemed like 20 years of domination by SG's. Really only Harden and Wade strike fear into anyone's heart at this position with Kobe likely out most of the year and unlikely to be as good at least for most of the year next year. Based on the complete lack of talented SG's in the league I think Shabazz has the fire to be a player in the league. I worry about his defense and I also worry about his team play i.e. willingness and desire to pass the rock once in awhile. Depending on some factors Shabazz is probably my 4th option here as I'd rather take Adams as well as the next two gentlemen.
Giannis Adetokunbo - The mysterious greek kid. This guy has length, length and more length. He might be still growing too! He seems to have a sky high ceiling and I dub him the Rondo of SF's. His speed is not elite, but he's pretty fast. He's raw but the potential, OMG THE POTENTIAL!!!! O_O I think you have to draft him if he's still on the board at this point Batum or no Batum. I think even if we don't trade Batum if we take Giannis, we could look at an occasional lineup of PG: LIllard, SG: Batum and SF: Giannis we still suffer badly from lack of dribble penetration outside of Lillard, but our perimeter defense would be elite given that we could actually guard 2 out of 3 perimeter players with length and speed for days. This kid's potential is amazing and worth the pick IMO. Honestly, if you pick Giannis though, it's to move Batum for either a Center, tons of picks or a SG of justice. Whether now or after Giannis has developed a bit. I think we need talent and assets and Giannis seems to have both.
And now for my darkhorse pick.
Dennis Schroeder - This kid is insane!!!! I actually think the Blazers might need to take him if he's on the board. I REALLY like this guy, like a lot, like I'm scared to pass on him if he's available and very excited at the possibility of picking him up as a BPA. He has true star potential IMO that most picks above him do not. What's more, unlike Giannis he has already developed his game quite a bit. His defense is amazing, simply AMAZING. His penetration and quickness is elite and his 3pt shooting is quite good. He looks to me like he could be Rondo with a 3 ball. Think about that for a minute. Now watch some video: I think you take this guy with a BPA attitude and then look to have a three guard lineup of Mayo/Evans, Lillard and Schroeder. This guy is good enough to run with Lillard or Mayo (needs a shooter with him IMO) and light teams up ala James Harden 6th man role. If he develops like I think he will then you can look to trade him for the final piece we need to contend. This kid is dynamite and we will regret if if we pass on him mark my words.
Ok well that does it for I-dog's Big Board. I look forward to your's below!!!! :-D
Next up a trade idea with Phoenix:
Portland trades: Wesley Matthews, Joel Freeland, Meyers Leonard, #10 and either a future protected 1st rounder (2015) or 2nd rounders and/or cash.
Portland receives: Marcin Gortat, #5
Why Phoenix does it, they want to trade Gortat before he walks for nothing next year and he's been a disappointment. They get a good trade chip and decent player in Matthews and an easier to trade salary piece in Joel Freeland. They also get the #10 where they can still select another player, a future pick, cash and the
Portland would then follow up this trade by looking to sign Mayo or Evans and buy/trade future picks for Dallas' #13 to pick up Adams. We take Gortat and then (please god) draft Oladipo at #5 giving us:
PG: Lillard/Mayo or Evans
SG: Mayo or Evans/Oladipo
SF: Batum/FA or 2nd rounder
That lineup has both the ability to get into the playoffs next year and room to grow. We also aren't totally anchored with cap as Gortat's contract ends next summer so if he doesn't pan out we aren't married to him. Oladipo gives us a nice piece and Mayo gives us the scoring we need at the SG and Oladipo the defense for Houston/Miami. I have decided I slightly prefer Mayo to Evans due to his shooting and still decent penetration. His defensive tools aren't as good, but that's why you have Oladipo. We could get Mayo cheaper which would give us better flexibility. His attitude is mildly suspect, but both Evans and Mayo are a risk. Mayo is slightly less risky just due to the lower salary he will command. I would be fine with Evans as well however. Heck, even excited!
I'd love to see your Big Board and trade or FA ideas below!!!!