Blazers scout Chad Buchanan was nice enough to spend the first half of Thursday afternoon's Rockets vs. Lakers game dropping knowledge to Blazersedge. Our conversation will run in a series of four posts.
This is part four: a short look at some of Buchanan's favorite players from this Summer League, the shape of the Blazers heading into training camp and more.
- Toronto Raptor DeMar DeRozan
- Detroit Piston Austin Daye
- Detroit Piston DeJuan Summers
- New Orleans Hornet Darren Collison
- Los Angeles Clipper Blake Griffin
- New York Knick Jordan Hill
Keep in mind I asked for that last on Thursday afternoon before Buchanan had the benefit of seeing a number of the other highly-ranked prospects. Surely Jonny Flynn's name would have been added to that list after his amazing performance yesterday. For thoughts on Flynn and a number of the guys listed above, check out this post from TrueHoop's Kevin Arnovitz.
Blazersedge: Regardless of draft position, is there anyone here that you've seen that makes you think, "Man, I wish he was a Blazer"?
Other than Blake [Griffin]? Um.... I don't know. There's a lot of point guards I liked in this draft but I just don't know if they were great fits for us but that will be very good players in this league.
I really like Dante [Cunningham] and Jeff [Pendergraph] to be honest for you. From where we were picking I wouldn't trade those guys for anyone I've seen here. This draft obviously wasnt super deep. I think there are a couple of guys that have surprised some people.
- Asked on Thursday how comfortable he would be if the Blazers didn't get Millsap, signed their second round draft picks and entered the season as-is, Buchanan said, without a beat, "totally comfortable."
- He did, however, echo KP's disappointment in not signing Hedo. I got the impression there was no hesitation on the team's part in offering Hedo the fifth year.
- Buchanan said Greg Oden has been working diligently this offseason and he raised expectations for next week's USA minicamp a little bit when he said a "breakout performance" from GO at the camp could be on the horizon.
- Asked which Western Conference team had improved themselves the most this off-season, Buchanan said the San Antonio Spurs. I'm inclined to agree and add the Orlando Magic to the top of the Eastern Conference list. Buchanan sees the Spurs as serious title contenders entering next season.
- Buchanan was adamant that he and other scouts do not allow web-based scouting reports influence their interest in or evaluations of prospects. But he was also adamant in saying he does believe online scouting has evolved to the point where it is a meaningful exercise for fans and professional scouts alike. Name a major scouting service site that you frequent and odds are Buchanan reads "everything those guys write." He said determining the quality of a scouting service is less about looking at their track record of predicting stars and more about seeing how sees the most prospects, the most times and who is the most thorough in assembling their database of player profiles. Sounds a lot like Draft Express, doesn't it?
- Buchanan foresees another relatively weak draft class in 2010.
- Looking ahead, Buchanan sees the 2011 draft class as being deeper than both 2009 and 2010.
- One name that gained a lot of buzz in Portland after the Nike Hoop Summit was Milan Macvan. Macvan is a banger who hit a number of outside shots during the Summit while leading the World team to an upset of Team USA. Macvan pulled out of this year's draft but is definitely on next year's NBA radar. Buchanan said there are real question marks about Macvan's athleticism on the NBA level but he laughed while recounting that every single time the Blazers have seen him play in Europe, he has ended up winning MVP at the tournament and has lead his team to first place. "He's just a winner."
-- Ben (firstname.lastname@example.org)