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draft buzz....

xbadgerhustler
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draft buzz....

in no way my own:

Chad Ford: What would the draft be without a few Blazers trade rumors?

Portland GM Kevin Pritchard has been among the NBA's most active executives on draft night. In 2006, he pulled off three draft-day trades to get his hands on LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy and Sergio Rodriguez. In 2007, Pritchard landed Rudy Fernandez and Petteri Koponen with draft-day deals. And in 2008, Pritchard traded up two spots in the draft to get Jerryd Bayless and then landed Nicolas Batum in a trade.

Will Pritchard strike again this year?

The Blazers have been making inquiries all over the first round. Their main target has been Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair, a burly power forward who plays with a toughness the Blazers lack and coach Nate McMillan would appreciate.

However, Sunday night, there was talk Pritchard has even grander plans. With point guard Ricky Rubio possibly slipping out of the top four, the Blazers are talking to the Wizards about acquiring the No. 5 pick. Pritchard has been on the hunt for a point guard, and Rubio would be a nice fit to round out the Blazers' collection of young, unselfish talents.

But trading for the No. 5 pick is far from a done deal, as the price would be high for the Blazers. The Wizards want any team interested in the No. 5 pick to take Etan Thomas off their hands -- a move that could eat into the Blazers' cap space this summer. The deal almost certainly would cost the Blazers some young talent, like Bayless, Travis Outlaw or Batum.

Even more pressing, McMillan has been pushing for the Blazers to sit out this draft and instead add a veteran to their young core.

Pritchard joked to The Oregonian that McMillan "will probably kill me" if he adds another rookie to the team. McMillan laughed and told The Oregonian, "you will have to put me behind bars" if Pritchard gets another rookie.

There's no question Pritchard also is trying to figure out a way to get maximum cap room this summer to use for a free agent or in a trade. The Magic's Hedo Turkoglu gets the most mention, but sources say Portland's real target is Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich.

If the Bulls re-sign Ben Gordon to a big contract this summer, they are going to have to part ways with Hinrich to be able to afford it. The Bulls are dangerously close to the luxury tax as it is, and gving Gordon a big deal would put them over the top. Enter the Blazers, who will have the cap space to absorb Hinrich's deal and put the Bulls back under the tax threshold.

Hinrich would give the Blazers a seasoned point guard, but one without the sizzle or upside of Rubio.

Can Pritchard sit back and let Rubio slip through his fingers?


Michael.S.
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thanks,portlands

a scary young team they would be even more scary with a young point guard like rubio to compliment roy

maravich44
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Whata fun team the Blazers

Whata fun team the Blazers would be to watch! I'm not a Blazers fan by nature, but I could see myself becoming one.

The UnderKanter
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Wow how many rookies is this team gonna have

They seriously need to trade their picks for a veteran. They have too many young players,and do not need any of these 5 picks they have this year. Maybe trade picks 24, and Batum to the Bulls for Heinrich.

gatorheels
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No way the Blazers are going

No way the Blazers are going to trade Batum. I think they would trade any of their draft picks, Outlaw, Webster, or Rodriguez. I think those are the 3 players they are looking to move. I like the fact that the Blazer are so young. I don't think they need veterans. Just stay patient and let the young guys develop. Let the team build chemistry.

Cameron
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I think getting Hinrich

I think getting Hinrich would be an excellent move by the Blazers. He gives them a solid PG who can knock down shots and help spread the floor. I'm not sold on Rubio and think it'd be better to go with a proven veteran than someone as risky as Rubio, regardless of the potential payoff

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