The Blazers’ Role in the Upcoming NBA Draft

| by Dwight Jaynes

I couldn’t be more certain of this, but honestly, I would be very disappointed in the Trail Blazers if they went into this draft looking to add one more young player to their roster.

For me, this draft is an opportunity to obtain a veteran player — and nothing more. I’m sorry, but there’s enough youth on that roster. Enough experience. There are enough promising youngsters on the roster to develop without looking for more. At this point in the maturation of the Trail Blazers, what’s needed is experience — and talent.

Portland has a deep roster and at some point, two or three players must be bundled in a deal to obtain one very solid and talented player. I’m going to be very puzzled if that player is a rookie — someone the Trail Blazers have moved up in the draft to get through a major deal. I would sanction that only if it led to a deal for a proven veteran.

Man, this team cannot afford to waste trade assets on young players. This is not a rebuilding time and not a time to gamble on unproven rookies who may or may not become stars. It’s a time to win. I would hope anything done in the draft will be done with the idea of supporting a major deal for a veteran player — either through a sign-and-trade, a two- or three-for-one trade or a free-agent signing.

But with young players already stashed in Europe and a roster of others ready to prove their worth, no more in experience can be tolerated. It’s time to roll the dice on a major deal — either on draft day or this summer.

And it’s not the time to add yet one more young player to muddle up playing-time issues and take up developmental time.

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