Sports — 26 June 2013

The NBA Draft is coming up this Thursday. The question is, do the Blazers take a player in the draft or pull off a trade to bolster the current lineup? It’s hard to say which specific player the Blazers may take with all the rumors that are circulating in the final week leading up to the draft, so I prefer the discussion on which position or need they should address.

This draft appears to be deep on big men, but should the Blazers address the center position with Meyers Leonard on the bench? Leonard is young and raw. He is going to need more time to develop, there is no question about that. But, he has a soft touch and some offensive skills. Heck, Leonard even knows how to make free throws. But, he needs to improve his foot-work, work-ethic, and understanding of how to defend other post players in order to stay out of foul trouble. I am not sure the Blazers can find a better big in the draft than what they have right now in Leonard.

Aside from big men, this draft according to all the experts is loaded with shooters, something the Blazers could use desperately. Head Coach, Terry Stotts likes to let his guys move the ball and find open shooters. They could defnitely use some to help spread the floor and knock down open shots. C.J. McCollum out of Lehigh is a guy who has been mentioned in connection with the Blazers. Like Damian Lillard, McCollum is a senior coming out of College. He can shoot, and is similar to Lillard with his ability to handle the ball and score. I don’t know if McCollum is the right guy, but I definitely think shooting is a lost art in the league, and the Blazers need guys who can knock-down shots.

One other note, Chris Haynes of Comcast Sports Northwest joined my show last week and discussed free-agency. Of the potential veteran centers the Blazers could be targeting, keep an eye on Marcin Gortat and DeAndre Jordan. The number one need for the Blazers this off-season is a starting center. The Blazers gave up more points in the paint than any other team in the NBA last year. They must improve their interior defense. One other name to keep an eye on is free-agent, Tony Allen. He could be eyeing the Blazers. This guy is tough, great work-ethic. He would change the culture of the locker room. With Allen, the Blazers could move Wesley Matthews to the bench. This is a move I would absolutely love to see.


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