Michael Jordan: What If the Portland Trail Blazers Had Drafted Jordan?

Mike B.Correspondent IAugust 14, 2010

In Game One of the 1992 NBA Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers, Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan hit a record-setting six first-half three pointers.

After knocking down the sixth, he simply shrugged his shoulders as if to say, "I can't believe I'm doing this." Or he might have been trying to tell the Blazers, "You had your chance to get me, but you blew it."  

Blazers fans know the story oh so well.

At the 1984 NBA Draft, after the Houston Rockets selected Hakeem Olajuwon with the top pick, the Blazers passed up on Jordan to take University of Kentucky center Sam Bowie second overall. Jordan was drafted third by the Bulls. 

Bowie turned out to be perhaps the biggest bust in NBA history, spending a great deal of his career on the injured list and never meeting expectations.  

Jordan didn't do much either except for lead the Bulls to six championships, including that one in '92 vs. Portland, and become arguably the game's greatest player of all time. 

The Bowie pick made a lot of sense at the time, seeing that the Blazers needed a center and already had a young shooting guard in future Hall of Famer Clyde "The Glide" Drexler. 

How could the Blazers have predicted that Jordan would have become a global icon?

But what if Portland had drafted Jordan? That's probably a question that Blazers fans everywhere have been asking for years.

One would think that Jordan would have came in as a rookie and immediately been the team's first option, like he did in Chicago.

But most people forget that back then, both wing positions were occupied by All-Stars Jim Paxson and 29-point per game scorer Kiki Vandeweghe, with Drexler coming off the bench. With that said, Jordan would have had to compete for playing time.

It wouldn't have taken long, though, for the Blazers to figure out that Jordan was going to be something special. Paxson and Vandeweghe would have been dealt for frontcourt help and eventually the scary Jordan-Drexler duo would have materialized.

And if they still drafted players such as Terry Porter, Kevin Duckworth, and Jerome Kersey, the Blazers likely would have been unstoppable for quite a long time.

The team would have featured two of the most exciting and athletic players ever in Jordan and Drexler, a highly underrated point guard who could burn you from downtown in Porter, and Duckworth, an extremely gifted big man.

Okay, so we know the Blazers may have had a dynasty with MJ in town, but what happens to the Bulls?

Do they make the mistake of drafting Bowie, or decide to go with Charles Barkley? And does Scottie Pippen, Jordan's right-hand man, still make his way to Chicago?

If the Bulls do take Barkley and still acquire Pippen, they likely emerge as a threat in the Eastern Conference, especially with the great Phil Jackson roaming the sidelines. They maybe face Jordan's Blazers in the Finals a couple of times.

Fortunately for Bulls fans, they'll never know what would have happened if Jordan never called the city of Chicago home.

And they'll always be thankful that Portland chose a disappointing Kentucky center over the greatest player the NBA world has ever known.


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