Despite lacking that big move Portland fans openly longed for, last night's NBA draft was a positive experience for the Blazers. Since Kevin Pritchard's philosophy seems to be more marathon than sprint, the team added a few pieces of unpolished talent, although none of them are guaranteed a spot on the Blazers roster, and some might move via trade. But, for now, meet the new Portland Trail Blazers:
Claver is the international man of mystery—and the Blazers first pick (at the #22 slot)—a baffling selection that few people really know anything about it. Claver will probably spend the year in Europe, which is better than sitting on the bench and chauffeuring Rudy Fernandez around. If these past few years have taught us anything, have faith in the skills of Pritchard. (Plus, he has a Spanish player draft punch card. If he drafts three more, he gets a free pick, a trip to València, and a delicious foot-long sub.)
Excuse me, do you know if there is a veterinarian around here? Because Jeff Pendergraph's pythons are sick. It was either that, or the "two tickets to the gun show" line. Sorry. Anyway, Pendergraph is the team's present for shipping off Sergio Rodriguez, and he wowed the scouts during his pre-draft workouts. I hope he makes the team.
Gosh, another SF. The 33rd pick, from Villanova, might have a tough time getting off the pine—and staying away from the D-League—but that all depends on his camp performance. Or trade value. Best case, he's a pleasant surprise off the bench. Worst case, he's the new Michael Ruffin.
Oh sweet Jesus, what a steal. I love Patty Mills. A 20-year-old Indigenous Australian that can be downright explosive with the ball—and dropped 20 points on Team USA in the Olympics—what's not to like? Well, his height (5'10") for one, and the fact that he played in a soft college program (Saint Mary's College) are probably his biggest flaws. Stash him away in Europe, and then bring him around next year to back-up starting PG Jerryd Bayless. Yeah, you heard me.
Don't get too attached. Free agency is just around the bend, July 1st, and there are plenty of moves to come.