2007-08 Record: 41-41, 3rd Northwest
Draft Picks: 13, 33, 36, 55
Key Free Agents
How they got here and what they need
The season-ending knee injury suffered by last season's first round pick Greg Oden was supposed to the nail in the Blazers' coffin before the season even began. But a funny thing happened: led by Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland was in the thick of the playoff race until just after the All-Star Break. The finish at .500 is a good stepping stone into the future, with no key free agents and Oden due back this coming season. The future is bright for the Blazers and expect to hear from them pretty soon as well.
In terms of draft needs, the key will be finding players who can both contribute off the bench and push the main players in the rotation. The nucleus for Nate McMillan's squad is essentially set, so whomever Portland selects won't have to deal with the pressure of being thought by some to be a savior. And with four picks in this draft, I wouldn't be shocked if they packaged a couple to another team in exchange for a solid veteran to come off the bench.
Who they take
I can see the Blazers trading this pick, as there really isn't a serious need for another lottery-type player on the roster. But maybe the Portland brass would consider that one extra talent to be the difference between fighting for eighth in the West and contending for the Northwest Division title. If Portland keeps the pick, I'd predict Darrell Arthur from Kansas to be the guy.
Draft History (since 2000)
2007: Greg Oden (1), Josh McRoberts (37), Taurean Green (52), Demetris Nichols (53)
2006: LaMarcus Aldridge (2), Brandon Roy (6), Sergio Rodriguez (27), Joel Freeland (30)
2005: Martell Webster (6), Linas Kleiza (27), Ricky Sanchez (35)
2004: Sebastian Telfair (13), Viktor Khryapa (22), Ha Seung-Jin (47)
2003: Travis Outlaw (23), Nedzad Sinanovic (54)
2002: Qyntel Woods (21), Jason Jennings (43), Federico Kammerichs (51)
2001: Zach Randolph (19), Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje (50)
2000: Erick Barkley (28)