Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What Portland could do in the draft and offseason

The Portland Trail Blazers lucked out last night by earning the number one overall pick in next month's draft. Had they gotten anything other than a top two pick, I thought that they should have traded it for a veteran presence. Instead, they will pick Greg Oden with that pick. He will lead the Trail Blazers to multiple NBA Titles someday with a young nucleus including Jarrett Jack, Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Zach Randolph. However, I expect Randolph to be traded, possibly in exchange for a high draft pick, which the Trail Blazers could use to select Mike Conley, Jr., Oden's long time teammate. Oden has said that he would love to play in the NBA with Conley, so that trade could end up making Oden happier.

This offseason, I do expect Randolph to go because the Trail Blazers would already have two good big men in Oden and Aldridge. Randolph is currently the highest paid player on the team and a trade could free up some salary cap space. With that added space, they could either save it to sign their younger players once their contracts expire or bring in a good veteran for a couple of seasons. Like the Chicago Bulls, the Trail Blazers are a very young team. Last year, the Bulls brought in Ben Wallace and PJ Brown and it paid big dividends for the Bulls, those two led them to their first playoff series victory since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen left the team.

Especially now, the Trail Blazers future couldn't look brighter.

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