Yahoo Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo every day. Learn more »Yahoo Contributor Network
Portland Trail Blazers draft Nolan Smith and Jon Diebler: A fan’s reaction
The Portland Trail Blazers had an interesting 2011 NBA Draft. The Blazers selected Nolan Smith and Jon Diebler on June 23, possibly creating a very deep bench for themselves next year.
The first round pick for the Blazers was Duke point guard Nolan Smith; a player that received quite a bit of attention while in college. He is good from both guard positions, has the ability to really attack the rim strong, and could be a really quick player on the Blazers offense. It's not completely clear how they will use him, but Smith could see a lot of action next year if the Blazers trade away any of the other guards currently on the roster.
Diebler is from Ohio State University, where he set the Big Ten record for career three-pointers. During his time with the team, he hit 374 three-pointers, including 10 in one game against Penn State. He is a guy that can really spread the floor, and might be a really interesting guy to bring off the bench in the 2011-12 NBA season. He stands at 6-6, so Diebler also brings height at the position that could be very valuable. Getting Diebler with the No. 51 pick means there is no risk here, and he has the potential to be someone like Kyle Korver(notes).
The Blazers didn't go for a big man in the first two picks like it had been assumed, and this seems to indicate that they are very confident in the return of Greg Oden(notes). A new contract offer has not yet been made to him, but it is expected that he will receive a qualifying offer very soon. That would make him a restricted free agent and allow the Blazers to match any large contract offers that other franchises might be thinking about.
These draft picks certainly have an interesting tone to them, especially if Smith and Diebler can play to their potential. That's always the case though isn't it? Where you hope that the draft picks are going to come up big, but it's never clear if they will be able to make the adjustments necessary to succeed in the NBA.
More From YCN:
*Ryan is a Northwest bred sports fan that has been a Portland Trail Blazers fan for years. He doesn't miss a game, and has high hopes that the Blazers can improve their roster during the offseason and come back even better in the 2011-12 NBA season.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.