Moments in time: Portland Trail Blazers draft busts

1 Giant Eraser…

Unfortunately for the Portland Trail Blazers, not only is their medical staff looked at as one of the worst in the NBA, but so is their player evaluation crew when it comes to draft night.

Many fans are well aware of the wisdom and success that was put into and come out of selecting such memorable names as LaRue Martin and Sam Bowie.

While over time the Blazers have walked away from the War Room with positive results (draft night trades not included), Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter and Bill Walton to name but a few, the franchise has been pretty futile with their selections, especially in the last eleven years.


With the 28th selection, the Blazers selected Erick Barkley, a gritty point guard out of St. John’s in the mold of Nick Van Exel.  Barkley lasted only two years and found action in 27 games with the Blazers.

After being traded to the San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls in the span of three months in 2002, Barkley no longer appeared in an NBA uniform.

COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA:  Michael Redd 43rd pick


At the prep to pro onset, the Blazers jumped on the bandwagon with the selection of Qyntel Woods as the 21st selection.

With a personal high of 3.6 points per game and an average of 8.6 minutes over his two years with Portland, Woods was better known for his “Jailblazer” attitude and his role in a dog fighting ring.

COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA: Tayshaun Prince, John Salmons, Carlos Boozer, Luis Scola


Another caught up in the hype selection, the Blazers drafted Sebastian Telfair as the second high school to NBA point guard ever (Shaun Livingston when 4th in the 2004 draft), with the 13th overall pick.

With mounds of hype surrounding the Brooklyn born native, he managed only two seasons with the Blazers before being traded to the Celtics as part of a package that would offer immediate help for the Blazers.

Sam Bowie

Sam Bowie draft bust???? Nah...

Since that trade, Bassy has also donned the jerseys of the  Timberwolves, Clippers, Cavaliers, Timberwolves again and most recently Phoenix Suns.

COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA: Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, J.R. Smith, Jameer Nelson, Kevin Martin


Give the Blazers credit for taking a chance on Seattle born Martell Webster with the 6th overall pick, if for no other reason than to create a feel good story (you hear that Stu Jackson!).

While Webster fared better in Portland than the previous prom to pro draftee with 6.7 points per game over 5 years and a solid contribution as both a starter and part of the second unit.

Unfortunately for Webster health issues slowed his production after a breakout season in 2007/08.  Now with the Timberwolves, Webster continues to battle not only to remain healthy but also for minutes with the ever improving club.

COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA:  Andrew Bynum, Danny Granger, David Lee, Monta Ellis


The memories and comparisons of the 1984 draft continue to arise when talking about the Blazers selection of Greg Oden over Kevin Durant.

To be fair to Oden, the hype surrounding New York born big man was warranted, as his high school, AAU and Ohio State numbers led many to believe that he could change the fortunes of the Blazers and push them up the next step on the Western Conference ladder.

The Blazers also felt that they were deep enough at the forward spots and needed an anchor in the paint on both ends of the floor.

In five years, Oden has played a total of 82 games due to reoccurring knee issues.

COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA:  Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Thaddeus Young……….pretty much anyone else in the 2007 draft)

With two picks in the top ten of this June’s draft, the hope is that the Trail Blazer staff walk away with two pieces that will change the future of the club in a positive way and not add two more names to the above list.


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About Steve Lee

Steve is a 12 year writing vet, and writes for a number of sports sites, offering a unique and abstract look at the games we love. He still hopes the Grizz + Sonics return to the Northwest, and has been a Lakers fan since "Showtime".
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  • Nathan M.

    maybe portland need to change their monicker from Portland TrailBazers into Portland DraftBusters..

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