Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Blazers Land #3 Pick

As most of you have probably heard by now, the Blazers this evening defied the odds and landed the #3 pick in the NBA lottery draft. With the fifth-worst record in the NBA, Portland made a big jump, climbing two spots. The official draft order at the top:

1. Milwaukee
2. Atlanta
3. Portland

At first appearance, one would think that Milwaukee -- needing a big man -- would snatch up Andrew Bogut. Atlanta subsequently grabs PG Chris Paul, and Marvin Williams -- the multi-talented freshman from North Carolina (who nearly came out after high school last year) -- falls into Portland's lap. Given my personal opinion that Bogut doesn't have the skills to justify a top-ten pick and given that Portland already has a very talented point guard of the future in Sebastian Telfair, this would seem to be an ideal situation for Portland.

However, there's already been rampant speculation regarding what Portland will do with the pick. ESPN thinks Milwaukee may grab Williams. Mike Rice, at the Blazers' draft part, threw out the idea of trading the pick and Nick Van Exel to Milwaukee for Michael Redd. Kevin Pritchard indicated that the team had between "five and seven" players that they are interested in. John Nash stated that Portland had already received calls from teams interested in exploring a trade. He also said they would likely take the "best available player", regardless of position, although it's difficult to believe that the club would take Paul, and Nash is likely posturing. Regardless, Nash certainly has been given another very strong tool with which to further improve the team this offseason.

Here's a look at the past five #3 picks:

2004: Ben Gordon
2003: Carmelo Anthony
2002: Mike Dunleavy
2001: Pau Gasol
2000: Darius Miles

Personally, I find it difficult to believe that Portland would deal the pick. I imagine it'll come down to drafting either Williams, Bogut, or Gerald Green ... but we'll speculate more within the next few weeks.

Thoughts? Email us here. I'm curious to hear what some of you are thinking after today's good news.

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