The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the few teams that I will actually spend money on to watch. However, they had a chance to shake up the Western Conference during the NBA Draft and fell asleep at the wheel. From the beginning of the day they were involved in the Paul George, Kristaps Porzingis and the surprisingly, LaMarcus Aldridge trade talks. Nothing happened. As the Draft moved along, they made a deal with the Sacramento Kings by giving the Kings their 15th and 20th picks for the 10th overall.
To be honest– that didn’t work out so well for them either. The Blazers selected Zach Collins with the 10th pick for a position they have covered well with Jusuf Nurkic. What was the point of giving away 2 first round picks for a player who was sure to be there at 15? Those picks could’ve been used earlier in the day to pry Aldridge or even Porzingis away from the San Antonio Spurs or the New York Knicks. Maybe even Carmelo Anthony or Paul George. I have no idea what the Blazers front office was thinking during the Draft but the results were awful.
With Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Nurkic as the cornerstones heading into the 2017-18 season, the Blazers were in desperate need of a rebounding big that could add toughness in the post. Collins is raw. Having only played one year of college ball at Gonzaga and averaged only 17 minutes and 5 rebounds per game. What is this kid supposed to bring to a team that has dreams of making a run?
Despite how fans and possibly the front office felt about Aldridge– he was exactly what the team needed. The same can be said for George, Porzingis and possibly Carmelo. Giving up two picks for one and taking a chance on a player like Collins is normally reserved for a team like the Phoenix Suns or Kings. What the Blazers did for the Kings was actually give them hope. They managed to walk away with players who can contribute right away and the Blazers will look back on this draft and ash “why”. Why didn’t they try harder? Why didn’t they think this through?
A great trade or draft was right there for the taking and they tanked a golden opportunity away.