The 2014 NBA Draft has come and gone without an iota of participation from the Portland Trail Blazers. While not entirely unexpected, it was a little bit disappointing (to me, anyway). I am sure the Trail Blazers will be fine with the team they have assembled, but the wide-eyed child in me wanted a new toy to play with. Unless the Trail Blazers make a trade, we will have to wait until free agency for them to make any significant moves this offseason.
This was the first time since 1998 that the Trail Blazers did not have a pick in the NBA draft, though picks they once owned were used by other teams. The 24th pick in the draft, which Charlotte acquired in the deal that brought Gerald Wallace to Portland in 2011, was used on Shabazz Napier. The Hornets then traded Napier to the Miami Heat in exchange for the 26th pick and two second-rounders. The 56th pick, which Denver acquired in the trade that brought Raymond Felton to Portland in 2012 was used on Devyn Marble. Like the 24th pick, this one was also traded after leaving Portland’s hands. Orlando acquired it in the deal that sent Arron Afflalo to Denver on Wednesday.
Overall, it is okay that Portland did not make any moves. My game plan would have been to trade the non-guaranteed contract of Will Barton with a lottery-protected future first-rounder to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for the 27th pick and a future second, but we can’t all be the GM. The Suns could have gotten the strong future pick they coveted, while clearing a roster spot by waiving Barton, and the Trail Blazers could have drafted Cleanthony Early, who slid absurdly far to the New York Knicks at 34. Oh well. Keeping the crew together is probably for the best.
The full results of the 2014 NBA Draft, including draft day trades, can be found here.