At RealGM, a look at why the Portland Trail Blazers were the other big winners from the NBA draft lottery:
While the New Orleans Hornets, who are now well on their way to an Oklahoma City-like rebuild, were the biggest winners from Wednesday night, the Portland Trail Blazers weren’t far behind them. Thanks to some short-sighted decision-making from the New Jersey Nets, who essentially dealt a No. 6 pick for a half-season of Gerald Wallace, Portland can rapidly accelerate their rebuilding process with two lottery picks in one of the deepest drafts in the last decade.
The Trail Blazers decision-making process should be made easier by the two excellent building blocks they still have on their roster: LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum. Aldridge, the most complete big man in the NBA, is an athletic two-way forward at 6’11, 240 still only 26-years-old. Batum, an athletic 6’8 200 swingman with a good three-point shot, is 23.
At the same time, holding on to their picks wouldn’t be a bad option either. With long-term starters at the power forward and small forward already in the fold, Portland could find the answer at two more positions in the draft. Like the Utah Jazz before them, the Trail Blazers could take advantage of New Jersey’s impatience to create a deep young core with the potential to be a title contender.