Blazers Genuine Draft 2008
You may be saying “What, the draft already? It’s not even the All-Star break!” But you can bet your sweet bippy that KP and the Blazer scouts are hard at work deciding who is going to be the next stud to don a Blazer uniform. Today the BlazersOG will take a look at the 2008 NBA Draft.
How will the Blazers draft?
A look at the roster lends some clues.
The Blazers are loaded at point guard and it is highly unlikely the Blazers will draft a PG for several reasons. First, we have a glut of players at that position. Second, the guys we have may not be All-Stars but fit our system and are solid. Lastly, there is general consensus the Blazers will make a serious run at either Chris Paul or Deron Williams in the near future.
SG is equally crowded with Jack emerging as a back up shooting guard, Rudy Fernandez on his way, and Roy taking up the bulk of minutes at that position. Again, just don’t see us taking a full time guard unless some unreal player drops in the draft.
Although the SF position is crowded with the likes of Jones, Webster, and Outlaw, it is hard to turn down a good swing man who can do a little of everything.
With Przybilla and the Oden set to go next year the Blazers look strong at center. However, it is always nice to have a third big man on the roster, especially in case of injuries, and from a practical standpoint, the Blazers need another big body for Prizz and especially GO to bang with in practice.
Overall, though, we think the Blazers’ most glaring need is at back-up power forward. Aldridge will get the bulk of minutes here but he will need a spell from time to time. More importantly, in order to make a Championship run the Blazers really need a bruiser PF who can come off the bench, play hard defense down low, get rebounds and be ready to use all five fouls. The Blazers need a Kurt Rambis, Charley Oakley type. Channing Frye has already shown himself to not be that player and we hold little hope for Josh McRoberts to play that type of game in light of his weak rebounding stats at Duke.
If the draft were held today the Blazers would be picking 20th. It is our sincere hope here at the BlazersOG that we have an extremely high draft pick; higher the pick, better the record. But for argument sake we will assume that the Blazers will pick 20th.
In the upcoming months the draft picture will become clearer, both in players’ and team needs, but for now here is a solid list of five guys, in no particular order, that might fit nicely in scarlet and black.
Brandon Rush SG/SF Kansas
Although the Blazers are crowed at SF, Rush is a swing player who could play both SF and SG in the NBA. More importantly, he is a savvy player that in many ways reminds us of a poor man’s Brandon Roy. He does everything well, including playing defense.
More importantly he is a junior who has really benefited from his years in college. The Blazers are now at the point where they are done taking on projects (unless they are overseas). If they are going to add a player to their roster you have to ask, “Is this guy mature enough to contribute in some way right now?” We think Rush has the game and maturity to contribute some small but meaningful minutes for the Blazers.
Realistically though, taking Rush at twenty might be a little high with most mock drafts having him going late in the first round or early second.
Nikola Pekovic C Partizan Belgrade (Serbia)
In all reality the Blazers may already have all the players they need for the near future aside from adding some veteran leadership or another All-Star through free agency. In that case, KP may be looking to draft some foreign players capable of staying with their respective teams for a few years only to be brought over at a later time. If this is the case then Pekovic might be a good pick.
To be honest we have never seen this guy play in a full game (only what we can find on the internet). But what we do know is that he is a legit seven footer, he plays for one of the better European teams (Partizan Belgrade), and he puts up good numbers (PPG 17.8 RPG 7.8 FG% 58.5). Furthermore, you have to love the success rate of players from the former Yugoslavian Republic in the NBA. Pekovic might be a nice gamble to take.
Trent Plaisted PF/C BYU
Many of you may not have seen this “Mormon Assassin” play but he has game. He could play both PF and C in the NBA with PF being more likely. Earlier this season this guy tore up Louisville and UNC, putting up huge double-doubles against both teams. He is not as physical as we might like and will need to put in some serious hours in the gym (nothing Jay Jenson can’t take care of). But this guy is a threat down low and understands the fundamentals of rebounding (how to use his body). He does have a tendency to get lost in some games, especially when BYU plays up-tempo teams but hey, nobody is perfect.
Nicolas Batum SF Le Mans (France)
Any scouting report you read on this guy says he is going to be a good NBA player. He is long and athletic, can shoot the 3 just as easily as putting it on the floor and dunking on you. He put on a clinic in April at the Nike Hoops Summit against the likes of Kevin Love, O.J. Mayo, and Michael Beasley (Where KP also saw him play). In all likelihood Batum is a late lottery pick so the Blazers may not even get close to him. But you can guess that KP has sent some scouts to check this guy out. And again he has the added benefit of being able to say in Europe for a few more years before coming over and joining the team.
By the way do you recognize who the ally oop is from in this first video?
Tyler Hansbrough PF North Carolina
We’re not going to lie, this is our choice for the Blazer’s first round draft pick. Hansbrough has arguably the best post moves of any NCAA big man. The guy is tough as hell (remember last year in the ACC tournament when he had his nose broken and wanted to keep playing?). He is a little short for a PF but rebounds like a seven footer. We think his post toughness and rebounding ability make him an ideal choice to be some Blazer muscle off the bench. Can’t say enough good about this guy.
Now you might be saying “What, no love for Love?” Don’t get us wrong. We would like nothing more than the Love Train (and for that matter Urkel) running though Portland. Nothing like a home town boy to root for, especially when he is as talented as Kevin Love. But the BlazersOG would bet money, marble and chalk that Love does not come out of college this year.
He is currently projected to go in the middle of the first round. He could have a huge tournament and boost his stock a little, but at best the scouts seem to see him going no higher than 12. So why would a young fella like Kevin Love not choose to stay in school one more year where he can work on his skills, boost his numbers and continue to enjoy the life of a young stud basketball star at UCLA. If he waits a year he is a lock lottery pick and maybe the first pick of the draft. We just don’t see him coming out this year.
Enjoy tonight’s nationally televised game and get ready for Roy to show LeBron who the real All-Star is.