FanPost

Roy's Backcourt Mate?.. A draft Strategy.

Over the past two months, there has been a lot of chatter on BE discussing who KP, Nate and Co. should go after to get that would be an upgrade for our starting point guard position.  It seems that the concensus is that we need to find a point guard who has great dribbling skills with low turnovers who can create their own shot, great to lock-down defender, and a reliable shot from 3-point range.  We also know that because of Brandon Roy's considerable skills with the ball in his hand and his ability to get his team mates involved that we do not necessarily need/want a prototypical point guard, especially if we have some combination of a Blake, Jack or Sergio on the roster too.

All 3 of our existing point guards are 6'3", so if we were to draft this year who was 5'11" it wouldn't be a huge match-up issue for our roster since we already have good sized guards.  Plus our SG slot is always going to be good sized with Roy (6'5") Rudy (6'6") or Martell (6'7").  So what are our options for B.Roy's front court running mate? 

OJ Mayo?  Eric Gordon?  DJ Augustin?  Jarryd Bayless?  Russell Westbrook?

One of those FIVE PROSPECTS is the best bet the Blazers have of adding another big-time talent to their pool of future stars.  So, it seems that KP is going to have to work his magic come draft day to manouver into Picks 3,4,5,6,7 or 8.  Obviously ower is better for Portland to get who they want, but getting any of these FIVE PROSPECTS would be a huge win for the organization. 

For Portland to move up from pick 13 (if that is where we land) we will be looking at throwing in Next Years First Round Pick, some combination of second rounders and potentially a Euro prospect (Koponnen) or two.  Also, we may have to move either Sergio or Jack to get it done... or worst cast, throw in another future draft pick...........

What ever IT is, I need you to tell me which lottery team might be most interested in helping us get into the part of the draft where we need to be with the bargaining chips we have in the paragraph above.  Who needs a SF that they can move down in the draft and still get at 13?  Who needs a BIG that they can move back and still get at 13?  Who doesn't need or want another rookie guard on their team?  And who is trying to rebuild for the future and wants/needs more draft picks?

Milwaukie?  NY Knicks?  Charolette?  Memphis?  LA Clippers?  Minnesota?  Chicago?  Indiana?  dare I say Oklahoma?

Well, I have checked these FIVE PROSPECTS out on the likes of ESPN.com, RealGM.com, NBAdraft.net, hoopshype.com, and draftexpress.com, and here are some blurbs about the GUARD power we can add to our future Blazers teams:  (starting with a flash back to Rudy's ESPN insider draft bio)...

Rudy Fernandez
Shooting Guard  | 6-6, 172 | Age: 23 (from ESPN.com draft files)

Positives: He really has it all -- athleticism, ballhandling, shooting touch (with NBA 3-point range) and active defense. He has the ability to play both the one and the two because of his excellent floor vision, increasing his value. He's got a great vertical and a long wingspan. Good lateral quickness. Excellent basketball IQ. Fearless. He takes it to the defense. Plays above the rim.

Negatives: Strength is the biggest issue. He looks very frail and needs to add a lot of muscle to his wiry frame. Average first step means he too often settles for jumpers. Not a great shooter off the dribble.

O.J. Mayo
Shooting Guard | 6-4, 195 | Age: 20 (from RealGM.com mock draft)

In an NBA in which very few players can create their own offense, Mayo will be elite (as long as he is not guarded by Russell Westbrook).

He creates separation off the dribble to generate space to get his jumper off, but what is more impressive and refined is his knack for preserving his dribble, squaring up in a triple-threat position with purpose and intent. He is able to back defenders up with jab steps, which sets things up for when he does put the ball on the floor, where he is highly imaginative, utilizing a wide array of moves to score.

Though shorter and slightly less athletic than both Jordan and Bryant, Mayo is headed for this type of individual career.

Despite a history of character issues, from every moment I've seen, his on-floor character appears impeccable. He plays the game in a very stoic yet passionate manner.

He also has been a much more committed defender than many were expecting.

Jerryd Bayless
Point Guard | 6-3, 190 | Age: 19 (from NBAdraft.net bio page)

Strengths: In a word: special. Bayless combines incredible speed, quickness and athleticism with a high level of intelligence and composure ... Winners mentality ... He really excels on the offensive end of the floor with his scoring ability ... Has an extra gear blowing by defenders with ease, and needs just an inch of daylight to get his jumpshot off ... Excellent body strength for his age ... He understands how to create shots for himself and has incredible leaping ability ... Very strong offensively, great form on his shot ... Plays with a high level of intensity ... Good defender, team player. Has leadership ability ...

Weaknesses: Must become better at running the PG position ... More of a scoring point, but his PG abilities are improving ... Can be prone to trying to do too much, must be more patient and composed ... Still hasn't sustained himself as an elite level player for an extended period of time ...

Eric Gordon
Shooting Guard  | 6-4, 215 | Age: 19 (from RealGM.com mock draft)

With his exceptional handle in the halfcourt, Gordon generates separation from his defender and particularly is infatuated with the step back jumper. His jumper is world class for a player of his age: it is very fluid, his release is high and is quite compact. His range comfortably extends to about 25-feet.

Not just a perimeter shooter, he is equally content to drive to the basket when defenders try to take away his jumper. He gets deep into the paint after shaking defenders with remarkable change of pace moves, invites and even generates contact and is strong enough to finish despite a hard foul. Strong and agile, he has the ability to contort his body and get his shot off.

Gordon defines the term ‘pure scorer.’

While maintaining the dribble, Gordon has exhibited excellent vision for knowing where everyone on the floor is stationed. Although he doesn't have the passing abilities of a true point guard, he has shown glimpses of strong promise in this area.

When he doesn’t have the ball, Gordon is sometimes a little too idle and stationary. He could get a few more open looks per game if he worked harder to move without the ball. Gordon is so adept at creating his own shot that he hasn’t really needed help in getting them, so this is pardonable for now, but is a facet of his game he eventually will need to address.

His height and weight are two issues that will plague him and slightly limit his ceiling. He is too short to be a true shooting guard, and Gordon fully realizes he will have to develop into a point guard at the NBA level. Scoring guards of his height like Dwyane Wade, Gilbert Arenas and Ben Gordon are all athletically superior to Gordon, though like a Carmelo Anthony, he is exceptionally ‘basketball athletic,’ especially with the ball.

Ultimately, the imperative for Gordon’s career (and draft value) will be if he can consistently score against long NBA defenders.

D.J. Augustin
Point Guard  | 6-0, 180 | Age: 20 (from ESPN.com insider draft bio)

Positives: Quick, athletic point guard with excellent court leadership skills. Can make passes few NBA point guards can pull off. Does an excellent job of probing and keeping his dribble until the right pass opens up. Excellent shooter with legit NBA 3-point range. Shows the right balance between scoring and getting his teammates involved. Gets to the free-throw line and sinks his shots. NBA body. Excellent finisher in traffic.

Negatives: The biggest knock is his size. He's probably closer to 5-foot-10 than 6-feet. Has been a little turnover prone this season. Tries to do too much which forces him to take bad shots. Can be too unselfish at times. Needs to be more vocal on the court.

Russell Westbrook
Point Guard | 6-3, 189 | Age: 19 (from RealGM.com mock draft)

Westbrook may very well be the best athlete in this year’s draft and is probably the best defender. He won the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award over senior Kyle Weaver and teammate Darren Collison. He is a lockdown, suffocating on-ball defender and will be so immediately upon his arrival in the NBA. He is so quick laterally and is also incredibly strong. Westbrook will also be a very good help defender, particularly as a shotblocker at the guard position.

He needs to reel in many aspects of his offensive game, but he has shown flashes of great sophistication as a shooter, dribbler and passer. He can create space off the dribble for his jumper and can also beat his man to get into the lane at will where he is a superb finisher. When he gets the ball into the paint, he is patient and controlled.

His closing speed when he gets closer to the basket is more impressive than any other player in this draft and he is already a YouTube dunk legend. He will never be a great perimeter shooter, but he should become a mid-range star in the Dwyane Wade mold if he just relaxes his mechanics slightly.

Let's assume we don't win the balls, How do we get into the lower portion of the Lottery this year?