One Man’s Junk Another Man’s Treasure
While the Portland Trail Blazers actual draft selections of recent have been woeful at best, the team has managed to leave the annual June event with player movement that has impacted their roster in a mostly positive manner, though occasionally it has turned in favor of the other party.
The much anticipated David Stern, “We have a trade to announce” has brought excitement to the fans in Oregon. With two picks in the top twelve this summer, there is a good chance that the Blazers might be able to restock the shelves by moving one of their draft day selections for an already proven commodity.
The moves addressed below illustrate the pros and cons of past draft-day trades.
2006 – Drafted Tyrus Thomas #4
Traded – Thomas’ draft rights and Viktor Khryapa to the Chicago Bulls for the rights to #2 pick LaMarcus Aldridge
Analysis – A great trade for the Blazers! Aldridge has been a dominant figure for the Blazers both on and off the court, receiving a much deserved All-Star selection this season.
Thomas has put together some solid but unspectacular seasons for the Bulls, Cavs and Bobcats.
Khryapa played four seasons in the NBA, two for the Blazers averaging a career high 5.8 points per game in 2005/06, before moving on to the Bulls.
2006 – Drafted Randy Foye #7 (pick acquired in a previous trade with the Boston Celtics)
Traded – Randy Foye’s rights and cash to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the rights to the #6 pick, Brandon Roy.
Analysis – Another winner for the Blazers! B-Roy’s career, although short lived, put his name in talked with all the other Portland greats.
Although there are rumors of a comeback, Roy’s achievements with the Blazers unfortunately came to an end far too soon for a promising young player who was set to carry this team to the promise land.
Foye has put together a solid six year career split between the Timberwolves and the LA Clippers usually in the role of the first guard off the bench.
2007 – Received James Jones and the rights to the #24 overall pick Rudy Fernandez for cash considerations
Analysis – Picking up a couple of contributing role players for some of Paul Allen’s pocket change was a great swap for the Blazers, even though it was a short term transaction.
Jones, a three point specialist, helped extend the floor hitting 44% of his three point attempts during his one year in Portland. Fernandez, who became a crowd favorite, until his diva attitude started to get in the way, brought a “Ginobli-lite” approach to the game.
With demand for floor time and touches, Fernandez was moved as part of a three team trade to the Dallas Mavericks, who then in turn moved him to the Denver Nuggets before he even put on a Mavs jersey.
2005 – Received the rights from the Utah Jazz to #6 pick Martell Webster, 27th pick Linas Kleiza and a conditional 2006 first round pick for the rights to #3 pick Deron Williams.
Just hours before the draft kicked off the Jazz and Blazers traded the four draft picks that would change the fortunes of both teams.
Yes Webster was a hometown boy, but trading away Williams was a huge mistake by the Blazers, who have struggled to find a solid point guard for many years.
Considering that Williams has been a constant All-Star and Olympian, whereas Webster, a combo guard/forward has been struggling to maintain a lock on a healthy career, the team undoubtedly wishes they could take a mulligan on this deal.