Monday, July 02, 2007

Who Was Offered For The Blazers #1 Pick?

In Sunday's Oregonian, Blazer beat writer had an interesting story about Portland's #1 draft pick and how Greg Oden wasn't the slam dunk number one option. It's not surprising there was some debate between Oden and Kevin Durant. Quick, however, does throw some intriguing rumors out there about what other teams offered Portland for the pick and a little tidbit about the Zach Randolph trade. Unfortunately for me, I had a busy day and wasn't able to write this post until tonight, so the story has been thoroughly picked over, but not all in one place.

Rumor #1

As [Pritchard] drove to Eugene to watch a play with his daughter on May 23, less than 24 hours after winning the lottery, Pritchard took a call from an Eastern Conference general manager, with whom he had past dealings.

The executive made an offer that was moderate in shock value: A five-time All-Star and this year's lottery pick in exchange for the No. 1 pick and the Blazers' 2008 first-round pick.


After some quick research, it is obvious, if the rumor is to be believed, that this offer had to be Paul Pierce plus the number 5 pick in the lottery. Boston is the only Eastern Conference lottery team with a 5-time all-star. Moreover, Pritchard traded with Boston last season to acquire future Rookie of the Year Brandon Roy. I think Kevin Pritchard had to laugh when Danny Ainge proposed that one. What was Ainge thinking, since we didn't get one of the top two picks we'll see if Portland is stupid enough to give it away for very little. The deal roughly turns into Paul Pierce for Greg Oden, since Portland would have given up next year's pick and gotten Boston's pick this year. Preposterous if you ask me. The commenters on The Big Lead were all over this one.

Rumor #2
A team within the Blazers division proposed a trade involving a future Hall of Famer and a standout rookie for the Blazers' No. 1 pick.

Later in the article it says that this future HOFer was a first-ballot one. The only surefire first ballot HOFers in the Northwest division are Allen Iverson and Kevin Garnett, in my opinion. I don't think Ray Allen has earned that honor (and he should be considered since he was in the division at the time of the offer). The Nuggets didn't have any standout rookies. The T-wolves had Randy Foye (First Team All-Rookie) and Craig Smith.

An intriguing offer, but I'm not sure Garnett would have wanted to come to Portland. He wants to win now. Plus, would you rather have the potential of a Greg Oden for 10-15 years or what would probably amount to 4 years of Garnett on the downside of his career. Sure KG is still playing well now, but in 4 years he'll have been in the league for 15 or so years. That's a lot of wear and tear.

Rumor #3

Sitting high in the stands at the Milk House arena where the marginal prospects scrimmaged -- far from the courtside seats Pritchard so preferred -- Pritchard that morning was approached by a general manager of a Western Conference power.

With bright lights illuminating the court below, Pritchard sat in a darkened corner with the general manager. The general manager wanted the Blazers' No. 1 pick. And he was willing to offer a player that will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.


This one is easy to narrow down. First-ballot HOFers in the West? Let's see: KG, Duncan, Kobe and AI for sure. Other possibilities, although I'm not positive they're really first-ballot inductees: Nash, McGrady, Carmelo, Nowitzki. Of those 8 possibilities only Duncan, Nowitzki, Nash and Kobe are on Western powerhouse teams (Lakers in a traditional powerhouse sense, thanks TrueHoop commenters for that view). Henry Abbott over at TrueHoop was all over this and I generally agree with his reasoning.

I don't think its Kobe because LA isn't a power right now. Although, LA may have made teh swap to get Durant, who might sell tickets like Kobe. Nash would never get traded because as Nash goes so go the Suns. I discount Nowitzki because I'm not sure he's first ballot. That leaves Duncan, which is a bit stunning, but I don't think beyond the realm of possibility with R.C. Buford.

Oden is in the mold of Duncan and Robinson...the stoic leader type. Solid defensively. And, San Antonio has had incredible success with big men. Duncan only has a few years of top-notch play left, while Oden would have a lot of time left, and Tony Parker still has 5-8 years of solid play left in him. That would make for quite the pair and I can see San Antonio trying to make this play if they thought Oden was the next coming of Duncan or Robinson.

The big thing to figure out is if these were ever really offered or if Pritchard just put it out there to push up the price on the pick. These NBA GMs are tricky like that. I have to imagine there is some grain of truth to the rumors.

Randolph Tidbit
Pritchard had known he eventually would trade Randolph since a prominent player on the team requested at the end of the season that the high-scoring but troubled forward be dealt.

Again, not a tough one. The Blazers don't have many prominent players outside of Randolph. I can only think of one and another potential one...Roy and Lamarcus Aldridge. The latter being not that prominent.

As one commenter on The Big Lead noted, I wonder how Roy feels about being sold out by Pritchard. I guess with the Hoop Family out of Portland, Roy wouldn't have to worry about any repercussions from Randolph's cronies.

12 comments:

t said...

Yeah, I saw this story-though I skimmed it; but yeah, I caught the mention of the first ballot HOF-er in the Blazers division and their standout rookie. I gotta admit, and this is no disrespect to Pritchard, I think he did the best thing in the interests of facilitating an exciting, sustained, Portland re-surgence, that that was a pretty decent offer. KG and Randy Foye. Thing is, you guys have PGs and KG at 31 or Oden at 19.....I dunno....pick 'em. Anyway, great catch; honestly, I guess they shouldn't allow former Celtic greats to be GMs because Ainge and McHale are really out to lunch.

Big Mike said...

"With bright lights illuminating the court below, Pritchard sat in a darkened corner with the general manager"

My guess is that this is a reference to the Lakers. Remember that this year the Lakers played almost all of their home games with the court eluminated and the stands blacked out.

Or maybe I'm reading way too into that.

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