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Blazers Trade Up To #22

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Those of you who, like me, voted to trade up from the #24 spot have gotten your wish. Kinda sorta.

Via ESPN.

The Portland Trail Blazers agreed to trade the 24th, 56th and worst of their second round picks in 2010 to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday for the 22nd pick in Thursday's NBA draft, according to a league source.

Full Press Release from the Team.

The Portland Trail Blazers moved up two spots in the 2009 NBA Draft, acquiring the 22nd overall selection from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for the 24th pick, 56th pick, and a second-round pick in 2010, it was announced today by General Manager Kevin Pritchard.

With Wednesday's transaction, the Trail Blazers now hold the 22nd, 33rd, 38th and 55th overall selections in Thursday's NBA Draft.

The 2010 second-round pick sent to Dallas will be the worse of the two picks Portland currently owns in next year's NBA Draft, which are the team's own selection and Chicago's. The Trail Blazers acquired the Chicago pick in a three-way draft day trade in 2008.

The Blazers hopped over the Sacramento Kings who have the #23 pick.

The team's second round picks were widely thought to be on the block but I'm not sure analysts realized EXACTLY how worthless they turned out to be in this weak draft. Wow.

As mentioned above, and clarified from earlier, the team still holds 3 second round picks this year. They have traded one of their 4 second round picks this year and one of their second round picks in next year's draft.

Some possible explanations for this relatively minor move up the draft board...

  • If rumors that the Blazers are looking to draft-and-trade Omri Casspi on behalf of another team late in the first round are true, this could function as insurance for obtaining Casspi.
  • In a number of mock drafts (including Draft Express's currently), Sacramento selects a point guard in the #23 position. If, for some reason, the Blazers do decide to keep the #22 pick and draft a point guard, this might give them a better chance of securing their point guard target, who might not have lasted to #24.
  • Of course this could also simply be a minor building block to sweeten a larger trade package. (Knock on wood)

I guess we should probably dub this a Pickflip, which kind of half-rhymes with Pritchslap.

Let's Go Kevin Pritchard. LG KP

Update: Here's Chad Ford's take, which echoes much of what I wrote above and throws DeJuan Blair's name into the mix as well.

Why would the Blazers move up two spots in the draft? The word around the league was the Kings had zeroed in on Omri Casspi with the 23rd pick. Casspi could be a good pick for the Blazers to either keep or bring over this year to provide more toughness in the frontcourt.

Other potential targets for the Blazers could be Florida's Nick Calathes, Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair, Georgetown's DaJuan Summers and VCU's Eric Maynor.

-- Ben (benjamin.golliver@gmail.com)