2017 NBA Draft aficionados and Portland Trail Blazers fans alike can buckle up for today’s edition of the Blazer’s Edge Mailbag. I can’t recall ever getting a question quite like this so we’re going to take full advantage. Ready to put on your thinking caps and go to Crazytown? Here we go.
Let’s do this. I want the craziest [Trail Blazers] draft scenario you can dream up. It should tread the edge (haha) of reality but doesn’t have to be really real you know? Shock us! Let your draft dream flag fly.
I thought about this for a little bit. I don’t want to do outlandish or “awesome-for-the-Blazers” as much as provocative. See if this is crazy enough.
Part One: The Conversation
Neil Olshey calls up Phil Jackson, perhaps to make lunch plans or see a show next time Olshey visits The City. Neil offers up the, “Quite a draft, huh?” bon mot to which Phil replies, “Yeah...I guess.” Sensing a lack of enthusiasm, Olshey’s ears perk up. “I called to talk about Cats, but maybe we should talk turkey instead?” Olshey points at his mirror and says, “Dry, cool wit like that made me a President of Basketball Operations instead of a mere General Manager!” Meanwhile Jackson mulls it over.
After three days of wrangling amid heavy—but unfounded—rumors that a Carmelo Anthony deal is in the works, the Blazers end up trading all three of their 2017 first-rounders plus Moe Harkless and Meyers Leonard to the Knicks for the #8 pick. The deal won’t be consummated until July but each team will be selecting for each other on draft night.
Part Two: The Surprise Twist
On the evening of June 22nd the Barclays Center green room fills up with hopefuls wearing all manner of suits...plus the obligatory kicks from Nike, Adidas, and for one participant, Big Baller Brand. Technically two people should be wearing them, as LaVar Ball accompanies his son Lonzo into the cordoned off area for draftees, but there’s no way Lonzo can afford BBB’s on a rookie-scale salary. He’ll have to wait until Restricted Free Agency to don his.
As expected, the draft opens with the Celtics taking Washington point guard Markelle Fultz. As he joins Commissioner Adam Silver on the stage the cameras cut to the elder Ball, who yells out, “Everybody knows ‘BBB’ stands for, ‘Bye Bye Boston’!” He chortles in glee anticipating the second pick.
Five minutes later Commissioner Silver takes the stage to deliver his carefully-rehearsed phrase, “With the second pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select... De’Aaron Fox from the University of Kentucky.” ESPN slow-motion replay shows the exact moment LaVar Ball’s heart bursts through his left temple to land with a thud in Sonny Vaccaro’s lap.
Astonished misery continues as Lonzo Ball slips past Philadelphia at #3, Phoenix at #4, then Sacramento, Orlando, and Minnesota. During the interlude between the Magic and Timberwolves’ picks Twitter user @NBARedPill23 receives 10,217 likes and 1,859 retweets for suggesting that BBB now stands for “Boycotting Bombastic Bust”.
Then suddenly the Knicks are on the clock. But New York isn’t keeping this selection. Everybody knows the real decision is happening in the Trail Blazers War Room. And it’s tense.
Part 3: The Question
It’s pretty simple: if Lonzo Ball were available, would you pull the trigger?
Keep in mind the following:
- Ball is considered one of the best players in his draft class, period. Having him fall into your lap with the 8th pick would be a miracle.
- Ball does what the Blazers want to do. His game would fit in Portland.
- The Lakers are Ball’s chosen destination. As far as we know, there is no second option. Not being selected by L.A. would make Family Ball very, very disappointed. Whatever happened on the court in Portland, the franchise might get a rancid version of the Ball Circus outside the lines.
- The Blazers need inexpensive talent badly.
- They also need players who can produce soon. Ball qualifies.
- Then again, the Blazers have two star guards already. Where would he play?
Considering these or any other factors you wish, make the call. The room is deadlocked. Olshey got you to this point, but he’s going to let you cast the deciding vote. Paul Allen is waiting for your recommendation on the phone. What do you tell him?
Make the call in the comment section below. Good luck, and keep those Mailbag questions coming to email@example.com!