The Portland Trail Blazers have been active participants in trades on draft day over the last decade. 2015 has already gotten off to a rousing start with the news that Nicolas Batum has been sent to the Charlotte Hornets. In this article, we have compiled the last decade's worth of Blazers draft day trades in order to illustrate the range of possible transactions tonight.
Trade Partner: Cavs
Acquired: Allen Crabbe
Sent out: 2015 and 2016 second round picks
The second round picks have not yet been finalized so this trade cannot be fully assessed. That being said, Crabbe is entering his third year on the Portland roster and has shown some signs of being a competent rotation player, which is more success than most second round picks have in the NBA.
Acquired: Raymond Felton, 57th pick (Tanguy Ngombo)
Sent out: Andre Miller, Rudy Fernandez, rights to Petteri Koponen, 2013 second round pick (Roy Marble)
Felton became one of the most reviled players in Blazers history and was a clear dropoff in quality from Miller, making this trade an unmitigated disaster. Despite the promise he displayed in his first season, the loss of Fernandez proved to be a non-factor; he was unhappy in Portland and would be out of the league soon after this trade.
Trade Partner: Timberwolves
Acquired: Ryan Gomes, 16th pick (Luke Babbitt)
Sent out: Martell Webster
In one of the stranger moments in team (league?) history, Kevin Pritchard executed this trade and drafted Babbitt hours after learning from team owner Paul Allen that he had been fired. Here is Ben Golliver's rundown of the happenings that day.
This draft day trade executed by Pritchard was not a good one. Babbitt would never become a rotation player, while Martell Webster has gone on to be a solid, if unspectacular, backup small forward in Minnesota and Washington. This trade also led to acrimony between Portland and Minnesota front offices with the Timberwolves accusing the Blazers of not disclosing a prior injury to Webster's back. Couple that with whiffing on the Armon Johnson pick and it's safe to say this was not Pritchard's finest moment.
Trade Partner: Mavericks
Acquired: 22nd pick (Victor Claver)
Sent out: 24th pick (Byron Mullens), 2009 second round pick (Ahmad Nivins), 2010 second round pick (Magnum Rolle)
This trade was inconsequential.
Trade Partner: Kings
Acquired: Jeff Pendegraph
Sent out: Sergio Rodriguez, rights to Jon Brockman, cash considerations
Jeff Ayres (nee Pendegraph) would play briefly for Portland but never managed to crack the rotation. The departure of Rodriguez was notable as it signaled that Portland had given up on the flashy and talented, but ultimately undisciplined and defensively limited, Spanish point guard. Rodriguez has since returned to Europe, but is rumored to be considering a return to the NBA.
Trade Partner: Hornets
Acquired: 27th pick (Darrell Arthur)
Sent out: Cash
Acquired: 25th pick (Nicolas Batum)
Sent out: 27th pick (Darrell Arthur), 33rd pick (Joey Dorsey)
These two trades made up the second major draft day "theft" of Pritchard's tenure in Portland. San Antonio was drafting 26th and reportedly had an interest in Batum. To block the Spurs, Pritchard bought the 27th pick from New Orleans and then sent that pick and the 33rd pick to Darryl Morey and the Houston Rockets for the 25th pick so that the Blazers could take Batum one spot ahead of San Antonio's selection. The trade paid immediate dividends when Batum joined the Blazers in the 2008 offseason, despite rumors he would stay in France for at least another year, and surprisingly slid into the starting small forward spot. Getting a multi-year starter for the 33rd pick and cash, while also foiling the Spurs' plans, was one of the great moves in Blazers draft day history.
Trade Partner: Clippers
Acquired: 2009 Second Round Pick (Dante Cunningham)
Sent out: rights to Mike Taylor
Dante Cunningham would play two seasons in Portland, serving as a semi-competent backup forward in his second year.
Trade Partner: Bulls, Nuggets
Acquired: 2009 second round pick (Patty Mills), 2009 second round pick (Jon Brockman), 2010 second round pick (Jerome Jordan)
Sent out: 36th pick (Omer Asik)
In a rare twist of fate, the Blazers managed to whiff twice in one trade by giving up the Asik pick to the Bulls and then giving up too quickly on Mills.
Trade partner: Indiana
Acquired: 11th pick (Jerryd Bayless), Ike Diogu
Sent out: 13th Pick (Brandon Rush), Jarrett Jack, and Josh McRoberts
At the time, this was considered Pritchard's key move of the 2008 draft. Bayless was touted as a possible PGotF, and acquiring him for Jack plus a 13th pick was a possible steal. In hindsight, the Blazers probably would have been better off if this trade never happened. Bayless and Jack have proven to be similarly effective backup PGs for several teams (they were even traded for each other again!), so Portland essentially gave up the 13th pick and Josh McRoberts for nothing. A better move would have been to keep Jack and use the 13th pick on a different player.
Trade Partner: Suns
Acquired: 24th pick (Rudy Fernandez)
Sent out: $3m cash
During the mid-late 2000s several NBA teams sold their late first round picks to avoid taking on mandatory salaries, and to help with their bottom line. Portland took advantage of Paul Allen's deep pockets on a few occasions, including in 2007 by buying the 24th pick and taking Fernandez. Despite a promising rookie season, Fernandez was ultimately a disappointment in Portland, but this trade can still be considered a success as taking a flyer on a highly touted prospect was worth some cash.
Trade Partner: Knicks
Acquired: Steve Francis, Channing Frye, 2008 second round pick (Omer Asik)
Sent out: Zach Randolph, Fred Jones, Dan Dickau, rights to Demetris Nichols
Pritchard completed the dismantling of the remaining "Jail Blazers" by trading Randolph to the Knicks in exchange for Steve Francis' massive contract. The buyout of Francis cost Paul Allen several million dollars, but was ultimately worth it as Roy had reportedly asked for Randolph to be traded. A sad sidenote to this trade is that Jones had previously passed on more lucrative opportunities to play for his home town team, but ended up having to leave Portland anyway.
Trade Partner: Bulls
Acquired: 2nd pick (LaMarcus Aldridge) 2007 second round pick (Demetris Nichols)
Sent out: 4th pick (Tyrus Thomas), Viktor Khryapa
Trade Partner: Celtics
Acquired: Dan Dickau, Raef LaFrentz, 7th pick (Randy Foye)
Sent out: Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, 2008 conditional second round pick (Trent Plaisted)
Trade Partner: Timberwolves
Acquired: 6th pick (Brandon Roy)
Sent out: 7th pick (Randy Foye)
The series of three trades that the Blazers completed in the early part of the first round of 2006 are certainly the greatest draft day transactions in franchise history, and may be the greatest in league history. Pritchard started off by packaging Khryapa and the 4th pick to move up to 2nd overall and select Aldridge. The Bulls would select Tyrus Thomas. Next Pritchard traded Telfair and Ratliff to Boston for the 7th pick and salary albatross Raef LaFrentz (RLEC for the long time readers). Pritchard would use the 7th pick to disrupt a Houston/Minnesota trade and steal Roy from the Rockets. DraftExpress.com's Jonathan Givony reported at the time:
The highlight of the night for me personally was seeing Portland single handedly destroy a trade the Timberwolves and Rockets had in place (#6 Brandon Roy, for Luther Head and #8 Randy Foye) by forcing Minnesota's hand and taking Foye a pick early at #7. That ensured that the Timberwolves had to trade arguably the 2nd best player in the draft to the Blazers for Foye and cash considerations, a move that was entirely lost on ESPN at the time but should go down as one of the most ballsy ever.
Coupled with the trade of Randolph the following season, these three trades served to immediately overhaul Portland's roster. Roy and Aldridge would go on to become two of the top 10 players in franchise history.
Trade Partner: Suns
Acquired: rights to Sergio Rodriguez
Sent out: $3m cash
Another example of Portland buying picks from teams trying to shed salary. Again, Rodriguez would not work out in Portland, but taking a chance on the flashy PG was worth the minimal risk.
Trade Partner: Jazz
Acquired: 6th pick (Martell Webster) and 27th pick (Linas Kleiza), 2006 first round pick (Joel Freeland)
Sent out: 3rd pick (Deron Williams)
In contrast to the 2006 trades, this was one of the worst draft day deals in Blazers' history. Portland lost a shot at Williams or Chris Paul so that they could trade down and take Seattleite Martell Webster. Kleiza would be traded for Jarrett Jack later that day, so Portland did gain three rotation players in this deal, but the value of those players paled in comparison to drafting Williams or Paul instead.