Portland Trailblazer GM Kevin Pritchard is one of the NBA's premier general managing talents. In three plus years, he has turned the Blazers from a laughing stock to one of the fastest rising teams in the league.
To accomplish this feat, he built his team through the draft. He has orchestrated countless draft day trades and has built a solid core of young players.
With the draft a mere day away, I thought about what I would do if I had the chance to take over for Mr. Pritchard.
Obviously, I could not be Pritchard for a day without some wheeling and dealing in the war room.
When looking at the Blazers' roster for this year, the obvious weakness is at point guard. Steve Blake is a great backup, Sergio Rodriguez still has some developing to do, and Jarret Jack's style does not suit the team well.
I would immediately then try to package Jack and some of the club's second round picks for a point guard. The three that I would look at are Leandro Barbosa, Kirk Hinrich, and TJ Ford.
However, I would not take any of those players at a steep price. All tend to look for their own shot instead of distributing. With Brandon Roy, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Greg Oden already on the team, scoring is not something I would be looking for from a PG.
I would also inquire about moving up in the draft. With Raef Lafrenz' expiring contract, two first rounders, and several early second round picks available, I should be able to move up from pick number 13. The reason I would do this would be to target two players: Russell Westbrook or DJ Augustin.
Both of these PG's are pass first players. I would prefer to get Westbrook as he is more athletic, and a tenacious defender. However, the price may be too steep as his stock seems to be skyrocketing. Augustin on the other hand may be just the right price.
That is what I would do entering the draft. Other moves would arise depending on how the draft shakes out, so I cannot say what else I would aim to do.
Oh, finally, in my last hour as general manager, I would try to convince owner Paul Allen that buying me a mansion would benefit the team in some way.
However, I won’t get to be GM for the day. Probably a good thing for the club as Pritchard is brilliant and almost certainly as a master scheme worked out.