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Draft Prospects: The Good, the Bad, and the Blazers

The Blazer's Edge tour of potential Portland draft picks concludes with a look at mid-first-round and high-second-round selections. Could the Blazers move down or in for any of these players and/or snag them with later picks? Which prospects would be best and which are overrated?

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Today we finish out our look at potential Portland Trail Blazers 2013 draft targets with a large list of players we haven't covered yet. Things to know:

1. These summaries will be far shorter than the previous ones as we're covering a dozen players in a single post instead of just two or three. The format is simple: a list of the good, a list of the bad, and how the player could fit in with Portland's plans (or not).

2. I approach the draft from a utilitarian standpoint rather than as an entity unto itself. We're all about how these players would affect the Blazers, what Portland's prospects could look like as the first round continues past the lottery selections. As such, we're not delving 30 players into the second round. Other than being aware of tantalizing names who could drop and/or be selected with an extra first-round pick (should Portland acquire one) our time is better spent profiling 3 second-round players after the Blazers select them rather than 30 players before. Otherwise there's too much guesswork involved as far as who will be available and who the Blazers like.

3. There are plenty of sites for draft junkies around. SBNation has our own network site. I'm particularly indebted to DraftExpress for this post. I generally find their work superior and reliable. With the previous posts I have bolstered their work with research, talking to folks, etc. to make sure the picture was as clear as possible. But there are only so many hours in the day and so long I can keep experts on the phone talking about the draft. Therefore what you'll get here is a general summary of the DraftExpress take bolstered by the occasional observation of my own and then tweaked to make things Blazer-centric. Thanks go out to the fine folks at DraftExpress for making researching this material easy.


Sergey Karasev--6'7", 197lb SF from Russian, 19 y.o.

The Good: Playing minutes, scoring points against higher-level competition. Tantalizing quick release on his shot. Basketball kid (dad's a coach) and plays like it.

The Bad: Relies on volume of shots, size advantage, and free throws that he's not going to get in the NBA. Typical strange Euro form on his distance shot. Not a great athlete. Defense?

The Blazers: Does Portland really need another reserve small forward with questionable lateral quickness?

Reggie Bullock--6'7", 200lb SF from North Carolina, 22 y.o. Junior

The Good: Great perimeter shooting. Shoots as comfortably and naturally from the arc off of catch and shoot or screens. Adequate defender if opponent isn't too fast. Good rebounder.

The Bad: So-so athlete, no handles, can't create own shot, gets burned by quick guys on defense.

The Blazers: Bullock would be a cheap Nicolas Batum replacement minus the upside or a huge steal if he dropped (which he probably won't) but otherwise not somebody the Blazers would go out of their way for.

Tim Hardaway, Jr.--6'6", 185lb SG from Michigan, 21 y.o. Junior

The Good: Size, athleticism, leap, can shoot jumper and get it on the move. Should be acclimated to the NBA because of his dad.

The Bad: Inconsistent. Doesn't get to the rim. Defense.

The Blazers: THJ would be an intriguing pick because of his athleticism, ability to play on the perimeter, and the tantalizing promise of him becoming an explosive all-around scorer with size at shooting guard.

Lucas Nogueira--7'0", 200lb C from Brazil, 20 y.o.

The Good: Size, length, mobility. Opportunistic defender, shot blocker. Offensive rebounds. Would stay overseas and not affect cap.

The Bad: NO offense. Not as good of a defensive rebounder. Not enough bulk and strength. Fundamentals flawed.

The Blazers: I love all things Brazilian, including centers, but projects without the right attitude equal high bust potential. Then again, who can tell about anybody's attitude at 20 years of age? Nevertheless, the Blazers would do well to think of this as a throw-away selection, benefiting if Nogueira happens to pan out. But they probably can't afford a throw-away selection.

Jamaal Franklin--6'5", 191lb SG from San Diego State, 21 y.o. Junior

The Good: Non-stop motor. Active defender. Volume scorer who can take it off the dribble and draw contact. HUGE rebounding stats.

The Bad: Efficiency dipped when given more opportunity. Not a good perimeter shooter.

The Blazers: Perimeter shooting will be a concern, both in Portland's offense and in general. Drives won't be effective if the defense doesn't respect the jumper. But the Blazers need a volume scorer and this guy brings extra tools to the scoring party. He wouldn't be a bad guy to take a flyer on if the Blazers were in the market for a second draft acquisition.

Jeff Withey--7'0", 222lb C from Kansas, 23 y.o. Senior

The Good: Size, length, leap. Great shot blocker. Good defensive instincts. Decent defensive rebounding.

The Bad: Limited offense. Motor? Doesn't defend as well away from the basket.

The Blazers: Withey has skills the Blazers would value but he's going to get pulled into screen defense situations where he'll get obliterated. He'd be a low risk, low yield pick for Portland, more of a patch than a solution.

Tony Mitchell--6'9", 236lb PF from North Texas, 21 y.o. Sophomore

The Good: Long wingspan. Leap and explosion like a small forward but with power forward size. Shot blocking. Offensive rebounding. Has a jumper.

The Bad: Defense, commitment, understanding the game outside of himself. Defensive rebounding. Turnovers.

The Blazers: You'd get Mitchell less for his contribution and fit and more because you're hoping he becomes a star. It's a risk, as he has a long way to go in order to maximize his physical potential. But you can't teach physical potential and Mitchell may be the ever-elusive "BPA" as the first round dwindles. Can the Blazers afford the high risk/reward ratio for a guy who will probably have a lot of great moments but might not ever become a winning player? Besides, if his star potential were THAT big in relation to his issues wouldn't he be going higher in this draft?

Allen Crabbe--6'6",197lb SG from California, 21 y.o. Junior

The Good: Will take deep shots and hit. Can shoot off of catch or screen. Doesn't need that much room to get off shot, jumper or otherwise. Pretty quick getting the ball up.

The Bad: Not a great ball-handler. Not terribly quick nor a leaper. Not a defender.

The Blazers: A slightly taller version of Wesley Matthews without the motor or the defense? Pass. There are better shooters and better overall prospects at this position in this range.

Isaiah Canaan--6'0", 188 lb PG from Murray State, 22 y.o. Senior

The Good: Scoring dynamo, great distance shooter, can get his shot off anywhere before you blink whether he's dribbling or catching. Has a little bit of Damian Lillard in him with the dribble jumpers. Strong for a PG.

The Bad: Short, not a great defender, not really a passer either.

The Blazers: Portland would be looking at Canaan as a reserve. There are better reserve point guards in this draft but if all you need is someone to continue Lillard's role (and roll) when he sits, Canaan would be a suitable choice. He'll score for you. It's hard to see the Blazers trading into the first round to get him but if he slips...

Ricky Ledo--6'6", 197lb SG from Providence, 20 y.o. Freshman

The Good: Some are calling him the steal of this draft. Apparently he has a strong and diverse offensive game to go with his nice size...enough to make eyebrows raise and hearts race. Also has some passing ability?

The Bad: One coach apparently (anonymously) called him a "program killer". Hasn't played any college ball. Has changed schools like most people change underwear. Plenty of unknowns.

The Blazers: You don't want to give this guy a guaranteed contract. If he falls to the second round, take a chance, scope him out, sign him for cheap if you want him. Otherwise you're rolling the dice big time.

Mike Muscala--6'11", 230lb C from Bucknell, 21 y.o. Senior

The Good: Size and length. Versatile center offense: post, mid-range face-up, decent handle, even passing and free throws. Rebounds on both ends. Pretty good defender. Knows how to eat space. Some shot blocking too. Apparently a hard worker.

The Bad: Will get pushed around in the NBA, at least at first. Will have a harder time getting off his post moves against pro players.

The Blazers: Muscala sounds like the kind of guy you'd never be sad to have on your team. If he's around he'd be worth a hard look. He'll probably get better in the pros. He could hit the physical ceiling before he exhausts his capability and desires, but hard work can also make you stronger and better fundamentally.

Glen Rice Jr.--6'6", 211lb SF from all around, 22 y.o. Senior

The Good: Size and bulk...he's no wallflower. Looks nice in the air. Will make aggressive plays on defense, rebounding, and going to the hoop. Three pointers are the family business. Can shoot jumper off dribble. Can also score on the block.

The Bad: Kicked off his college team but went and played in the D-League (which could be good, as he did well). In the D-League scorers often look better than they are. Not a consistent defender. Though he finishes well at the cup he sometimes has trouble getting there. Much of his game relies on superior athleticism. Will he have an advantage in the NBA?

The Blazers: Rice is projected to go in the second round. If the Blazers can get him there, pulling the trigger would be pretty easy. Of all the people with a record of personal issues, he's probably the most worth taking a chance on.

Summary of Names to Watch For: Franklin, Hardaway, Canaan, Muscala, Rice

See the rest of our pre-draft previews HERE.

Thus concludes our weeks-long journey through the Trail Blazers' draft prospects. Tomorrow we discuss the various angles that could come into play on draft day and how draft targets would shift accordingly.

In the meantime who, if anybody, do you like from this group and under what circumstances would you consider drafting them?

--Dave (