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Portland Trailblazers

The NBA's "fun bunch", the Portland Trailblazers have the 19th pick.  Their GM is Shaen Allen who selects:

Gerald Wallace, SF, 6'7", Alabama


In the 1990's only 10 of appr. 90 players taken between 19 and 27 became regular starters in the NBA.  Although, within that group are guys like Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell.  I can't believe that the Blazers will expect much out of this draft.  If they can get one good bench player and one good practice player out of this draft, they should be happy.  Portland has some major holes despite the high payroll.  Rasheed Wallace and Bonzi Wells are the core of this team.  The Blazers need to build around those two.

Recent Draft History

  • 2000 Erik Barkley
  • 1999 No 1st round pick
  • 1998 No 1st round pick
  • 1997 Chris Anstey (18) - Traded for Kelvin Cato
  • 1996 Jermaine O'neal (17)
  • 1995 No 1st round pick
  • 1994 Aaron McKie (17)

Team needs

  1. Defensive Center.
  2. Tall point guard who can play defense or score.
  3. An Athlete - Ruben Patterson-type player who can come off the bench.

Analysis of current team

Point Guard 

Rod Strickland, Damon Stoudamire, Erick Barkely, Greg Anthony

All good players, but all undersized, especially in the playoffs when Phil Jackson puts Kobe on the opposing teams point guard to disrupt the offense. The new coach should consider letting Pippen bring the ball up court and let Stoudamire play off the ball. Strickland is a Free Agent. I would not re-sign him. If Anthony does not retire, they are 3 deep at point guard.

Shooting Guard

Bonzi Wells, Steve Smith

Wells is penciled in as the starter, but I would prefer his creativity at small forward. Steve Smith is a good fit, but he doesn't have the legs to be a go-to-guy anymore. They need a deadly spot up shooter at this position.

Small Forward

Scottie Pippen, Bonzie Wells, Stacey Augmon, Detlef Shrempf.

Does Pippen care enough anymore? He's still a good player, but he's having an increasingly difficult time keeping up with the younger talent in the West. Wells is very good on both ends of the floor. Augmon was underutilized as a backup even though he is getting older. Shrempf will probably retire.

Power Forward

Rasheed Wallace, Dale Davis, Shawn Kemp, Antonio Harvey

Do they really need all these guys? Wallace is a franchise player, even with the temper. The Blazers could use a young, energetic defender and rebounder at this position (like Jerome Williams) to spell Wallace for 10-15 minutes a game.


Arvydas Sabonis, Dale Davis, Will Perdue

If Sabonis could go all out for 15 minutes a game, he would be more productive than he is now trying to preserve himself all game. Dale Davis can play center on defense, but he's never going to post up Shaq. They could use either an athletic shot-blocker or a jump shooter like Doleac. Sabonis is a free agent. They should keep him even if they have a chance to pick up a potential starting center via trade or free agency.

My selection

Gerald Wallace, SF, 6'7", Alabama

This is a really difficult selection. After the Lottery is really where all the high-school kids should go. There's no guarantee at this spot that the player you pick will ever contribute. Portland has a lot of good players, some great who have passed their prime. They need more athleticism and Wallace has that. He'll have to learn to be a role player. That makes this pick even more difficult since he left Alabama basically because he did not want to be a role player. If Gerald Wallace can accept his role, he has the natural ability to be a good NBA player. The great thing about his situation is that he won't have to score. If he is willing to learn to do the little things, he will be a success. That's a lot of "if's", but at 19, Portland can't hope for much more.

Other players considered

Brendan Haywood - Good fit as a defensive center. Picked before 19.

Joe Forte - Great fit for the Blazers with Wells at the SF. Picked before 19.

Kedrick Brown - Potential athlete.

Alvin Jones - Good shot blocker in College. But will he be in the NBA?

Who the team will probably take

Kedrick Brown

I've heard that some team made him a promise that if he came out he would go no lower than 20. Since I have never seen him play, I could not pick him. They could also go for Alvin Jones, who I like, but he has been an underachiever.

Other players Portland should look at.

Free Agency

Eddie Robinson - Charlotte (Restricted)

Felipe Lopez - Minnesota

Doug Christie - Sacramento

2nd Round 2001 Draft

Jeryl Sasser

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