The 2011 NBA Draft is chock full of talent that can help the Portland Trailblazers.
There has been recent chatter about Brandon Roy only having a max one or two years left in his tank.
This is horrible news, and GM Rich Cho must now make a move for the future. With only a week until the deadline, he must try to get higher draft picks, and try to make the rumored Devin Harris trade happen.
This year's draft has quite a few players who might be intriguing to the Trailblazers and could help them in the long run.
On each slide, you will find a strength and weakness section that will use ideas from nbadraft.net.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Players who are players projected to be selected around the pick Portland would have if the Draft was held today, which would be the 21st pick.
Jonas Valanciunas is a big man prospect.
He stands at 6-11 and weighs 240 pounds. He certainly has the size for the NBA.
Jonas is a hustle player. He plays with high basketball IQ, runs the floor, and does all the little things you would want out of a big man. He also has a nice jump shot out to 12 feet, and has soft hands around the basket, letting him make plays inside.
Portland is in need of some help up front. Oden is oft-injured and Camby is getting old. Cunningham and Aldridge are forced to play out of position a lot.
- Long, agile and has a lot of potential
- Nice shot out to 12 feet
- Strong motor
- High IQ
- Able to make plays inside
- Needs to add muscle to body
- Can get into foul trouble fast
- Needs better variety in the post
Lucas has a ton of potential.
He stands tall at 7-0, but only weighs 200 pounds.
He is extremely explosive, and his athleticism is a huge plus. He can jump out of the gym, and it helps him blocks shots, grab rebounds, and score on easy dunks.
He can help Portland down low on defense, and help ease Aldridge's rebounding load.
- Very athletic
- Extremely fast for his size
- Solid defender down low
- Needs to add a lot of weight to make an impact in the NBA
- Big knock on him is his poor work habit
- Has a star's attitude
Walker is one of the biggest stories of this college season.
He is an amazing scorer with an improved jump shot and ability to get to the hole.
He is small, being only 6'0", but his speed and scoring makes up for it. Being a junior might hurt his draft stock, but that can only help Portland, meaning less teams may look at him because of limited potential.
Has an NBA ready game, and his scoring would help ease the loss of Brandon Roy to injury.
- Good scorer
- Can get to basket or score on jump shot
- Good feel for the pick and roll offense
- Also a good on ball defender
- Does not like to give up the ball a lot
- His ability to create himself shots means he has a lot of open shots, and his scoring nature gets the better of him, meaning he may not pass for a better look
- Small, even for a point guard
- Turnover prone
Markieff is the stronger of the Morris twins.
He uses his strength to rebound efficiently and score inside.
Marcus is more finesse, while Markieff likes to bang down low. His play style can complement Aldridge's more finesse, back to basket style. They can also take turns banging down low on each possession, seeing as Aldridge makes it more of a priority to do so nowadays.
- Good scorer down low
- Efficient rebounder
- Knows how to use size to his advantage
- Lacks a consistent jump shot
- Defense can use improvement
- Not as skilled as twin brother do to being more used to using size and strength
Knight was a top prospect coming into college. His stock has fallen since then, but it is not a big deal.
He has the size and speed to make it in the NBA, and he runs the fastbreak well.
He is a good passer, and can make decisions on the fly. He is also an amazing isolation player, having an extremely quick first step. He can finish at the rim, as well as pullup from mid-range.
His scoring and passing is kind of like what Brandon Roy brought to the table, except Knight is as durable as they come.
- High motor guy
- Excellent scoring and passing
- Good one on one player
- Good jump shot
- Excellent defender
- Can go through a few slumps
- Not as productive in college as he was thought to be
- Tries to force the issue too much and does not take what the D gives him
- Ok athlete, but has room for improvement on his vertical
The Trailblazers can hopefully turn their future around in this draft.
They have a good chance at acquiring help for LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews.
If they can acquire any of these players (namely Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker or Jonas Valanciunas) they can once again become the franchise they were supposed to be.
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