NBA Draft 2012: Damian Lillard or Kendall Marshall to Portland Trail Blazers?

Kristian Winfield@@KrisWinfield_Correspondent IIIMay 31, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 11:  (L-R) Harrison Barnes #40 and Kendall Marshall #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels react after Barnes was called for a blocking foul against the Florida State Seminoles during the Final Game of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Conference Tournament at Philips Arena on March 11, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Among the teams that lucked out in the NBA draft lottery were the Portland Trail Blazers, who struck gold with two lottery picks heading into an ocean-deep draft this offseason.

Holding the No. 6 and No. 11 overall picks in this year's draft, Portland's got a lot of scouting to do, especially to fill their two biggest holes at the PG and C positions.

In this year's draft, the NBA has been blessed with two completely different yet equally outstanding point guard prospects, both of whom the Trail Blazers have opportunities to draft. They both have impressive college track records and are bound for potentially All-Star caliber careers in the near future.

If you haven't guessed yet, I'm talking about Weber State guard Damian Lillard and North Carolina record-bearer Kendall Marshall.

Let's run through a quick synopsis of both players and how they'd each fit in with the Trail Blazers.

Kendall Marshall (PG, North Carolina)
20 years old, 6'4", 180 lbs
2011-2012 Stats: 33.0 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 9.8 APG, 1.2 STLPG

Frequently compared to Mark Jackson and Rajon Rondo, Kendall Marshall is by far the best pure-passing point guard in college basketball, let alone the NBA draft. He's not an explosive athlete, nor is he known for his scoring abilities, but Marshall's court vision and passing precision instantly makes everyone around him better.

Setting the ACC and North Carolina single-season assist record (351) and winning the Bob Cousy Award, Marshall is easily the best pure point guard the NBA will have seen in awhile.

He would have to improve on the defensive end to guard the Russell Westbrooks and Tony Parkers of the NBA, but Kendall Marshall has the potential to become a dangerous point guard in the NBA.

If the Blazers decide to pick him up with the 11th pick in the draft, he would instantly take them back to their Andre Miller era of ground-and-pound basketball.

Oh, wait. That was winning basketball.

Damian Lillard (G, Weber State)
21 years old, 6'2", 185 lbs
2011-2012 Stats: 34.5 MPG, 24.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.5 STLPG 40.7% 3-PT, 46.7 FG%, 88.7 FT% 

On the other end of the double-edged spear, we've got the insanely...insane scoring threat, Damian Lillard.

With the ability to take his opponent off the dribble, pull up for a mid range J or knock down the three-pointer, Lillard is a triple-threat on the offensive end. And you can't foul him, because he shoots nearly 90 percent from the foul line.

That's right. Real scorers make their free throws.

The nation's second-leading scorer behind Oakland's Reggie Hamilton, Lillard will bring electricity, energy and excitement (the three E's, if you will) to whichever team he's drafted to.

The only con? We don't know how good his passing skills will be at the NBA level. When interviewed by ESPN's Chad Ford, Lillard said:

I can score, everybody knows that I can score. But I think a lot of people don't realize that I'm a playmaker. I can make plays for my teammates. I just think my school, I needed to score points. That's what they needed me to do. I can score, I can defend, I can make plays for everybody else and I can compete.

So there you have it.

A brief rundown of the Blazers' two possible point guards of the future. Portland could either opt to grab Lillard with their sixth pick or snag Marshall with the 11th.

Now, it's time for you to decide.

After the Raymond Felton experiment exploded in the Blazers' faces, resulting in a 28-38 regular season record, a breath of fresh air is needed. Analyzing each of the Top 2 point guard prospects in this year's draft, who do you think fits best with the Portland Trail Blazers?

Kendall Marshall or Damian Lillard?

Kristian Winfield is a Featured Columnist for the Portland Trail Blazers on the Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @BriscoXCI.


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