June 20, 2008
Starting today and continuing next week, Ball Don't Lie will be counting down the NBA Draft lottery teams potential picks. Because I'm far from a college ball expert, I called in the big guns — The Dagger's MJD and Eamonn Brennan, and guitar hero KD — to help break it down. Up first, er, 13th, Portland:
KD's offseason outlook: The team wouldn’t turn down a deal for a boffo point guard, or jump to do something with Raef LaFrentz’s expiring contract if prodded, but the Portland Trail Blazers will be standing pat this offseason. Rotation parts like Channing Frye and Jarrett Jack are eligible for extensions, but they won’t even be restricted free agents until 2009, and we’re guessing that no team is going to have the cap space to offer those two the sort of money that Portland wouldn’t match. Flush with youth and talent and time on their side, the Trail Blazers will likely be content to wait for the 2009 cap space they’ll enjoy once LaFrentz disappears, and not muck it up with a pointless signing this summer.
Needs: Point guard, point guard, point guard. Jarrett Jack, Steve Blake, and Sergio Rodriguez are all serviceable, but they are easily the weakest link in what will become the NBA’s youngest and most talented roster once LaFrentz rocks off next summer. Otherwise, the team is stocked, talented, and under 28 at center, both forward spots, and shooting guard.
So, with the 13th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers, represented by Eamonn Brennan from The Dagger and We Are The Postmen, should select ...
D.J. Augustin, PG, University of Texas
Fortunately for the Blazers, there are a lot of attractive point guards in this draft. Unfortunately, none of them are going to fall to the 13th spot. D.J. Augustin has the closest chance — as a nifty pass-first guy with an outside jumper, would be perfect for Portland — but he’ll likely be swarmed by the Pacers two picks earlier. Jerryd Bayless is, um, not going to happen. Either the Blazers trade up to get a guard ... or wait four years for slow-developing Nevada center JaVale McGee to come along. (Chant it with me: trade ... trade ... trade ... trade ...)