Saturday, April 9, 2011

Which players would be a good fit for Portland in the 2011 NBA draft?

The Blazers have a few crucial holes that need to be filled this upcoming off season.  Although many people are calling this draft very weak because there are very few players that look like they will be all-stars, I think there will be a lot of solid role players and there will be definitely be one or 2 layers that surprise everyone and become great.  The Blazers look poised to get the 21st pick of the draft.  This means they will get a player that will need some development for at least a year before they are ready to contribute.  They do have some assets they could use to trade up if there is a player they really like, but I don't expect them to go that route.

The Blazers 2 biggest needs are a stable center to go along with LaMarcus, and a point guard for the future.
Here is a list of a few players that might be available around the Blazers pick and that I think would be a good fit in Portland.

1. Brandon Knight-  Knight's stock has been all over this season, and every scout has a different take on him.  He seems to be more of a scorer than a distributor, but he is extremely talented, athletically gifted, and has a lot of upside.  If he is available I would expect the Blazers to pull the trigger on him and then try to use Andre Miller's contract as a trade asset.

2. Kenneth Faried- Faried is another player who has a ton of talent but could slip to the Blazers.  He would slip because he lacks the ideal size even though he is the best rebounder in this draft.  He reminds me of Ben Wallace because of how defensively active he is.  He would be a great back up for Aldridge, and think of a defensive minded line up like Wallace, Faried, Aldridge, Batum, Mathews.

3. Lucas Nogueira- Nogueira is a young seven footer out of Brazil.  He is very offensively, but he could come in and help on defense.  He is very athletic and has a huge wing span.  He could learn a lot from Marcus Camby in the last few seasons of his career, and if Portland's trainers could develop him in the same way as LaMarcus, he could be a great pick.

4.Markieff Morris- Markieff is the better rebounder and shot blocker of the Morris twins, and he would help out Portland's front line.  He would bring a lot of energy off the bench for Nate McMillan.  His offensive game is still improving and he continues to show upside.

5.Nolan Smith- Smith had a great senior season at Duke, but there are questions of whether he could play the point in the NBA or is he an undersized 2 guard.  I think that he could learn a lot from Andre Miller, but I don't know if he would be an upgrade over Patty Mills.

6.Patric Young- Young is a little undersized at the center position but he makes up for it with long arms and elite athleticism.  He reminds me of Kendrick Perkins because of what he does on the floor.  He won't give you much offense yet, but defensively he will compete.  He will be a project, but he has the potential to develop into a nice player.

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