Trail Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard is already on the fast track to made-man status in Portland. Having used some shrewd (and some no-brainer) moves to turn the franchise around from the “Jail Blazers” of Darius Miles, Ruben Patterson and Qyntel Woods to a media-friendly exciting playoff team featuring Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Fernandez, Pritchard has arguably done a better job than any NBA front-office exec over the last 3-4 years.
While he was able to land B-Roy, LMA and Greg Oden via the Lottery picks at his disposal, now that his team is a success, Pritchard will have to get used to making due with not-so-desirable draft positions; like this year’s 24th overall pick in the first round of what is allegedly a weak draft class. But if Pritchard pulls off the move he’s rumored to be thinking of, he may never have to pay for anything in Portland again. From Charlotte Observer writer Rick Bonnell:
The way I hear it, the Blazers (currently picking 24th) are nosing around to trade up and have Stephen Curry in their sights. Enough teams are willing to deal down that this is a real possibility. And it would be great for Curry in this regard:
A long-time NBA scout told me months ago that the ideal situation for Curry is to play point guard on a team with a shooting guard who can also handle the ball. That would allow Curry to spot up some, and maximize the impact of his shooting.
The Blazers have just such a player in Brandon Roy. Strikes me as a great match of a player and a system.
Steve Blake (11.0 ppg, 5.0 apg, 42% 3PA) wasn’t bad at point guard for the Blazers this season, but he’s not good enough for them to settle at the position; ideally he’s a backup PG on a contending team. Jerryd Bayless is the logical successor to Blake as soon as he gets more experience, but Bayless may be better suited as an off-the-bench scoring combo guard.
Besides, considering that the Knicks took a long look at Bayless in last year’s draft before deciding on Danilo Gallinari, Bayless would probably be part of the trade package for New York’s #8 pick, where Curry should be available and the Knicks are said to be coveting the Davidson star. The Wizards (5th) and Warriors (7th) may also be in the market for Curry.
If you’re Knicks GM Donnie Walsh, what would it take for Portland to get that 8th pick from you? Same question for if you were running Washington or Golden State…