Chad Buchanan Interviews in Charlotte: Why You Should Care


On Tuesday, the Charlotte Hornets interviewed Chad Buchanan (Trail Blazers’ Director of College Scouting) for their vacant Assistant General Manager position. Buchanan has been a member of the Portland front office since 2004 when he was hired by former Director of Player Personnel (and later General Manager) Kevin Pritchard. Since it looks like our longtime Scouting Director may be on the move, I have compiled a list of the Trail Blazers’ draft picks during his tenure so we may look back on how he has influenced the organization during his time here. Drafting players is a group decision, but his opinion on selections held a hefty amount of stock:


Sebastian Telfair – 13th overall
Sergei Monia – 23rd overall
Ha Seung-Jin – 46th overall


Martell Webster – 6th overall
Linas Kleiza – 27th overall (traded with Ricky Sanchez for Jarrett Jack)
Ricky Sanchez – 35th overall (traded with Linas Kleiza for Jarrett Jack)


Tyrus Thomas – 4th overall (traded for LaMarcus Aldridge)
Joel Freeland – 30th overall
James White – 31st overall (traded for Alexander Johnson and two future second-rounders)
*We’ll get to the Randy Foye for Brandon Roy trade a little later


Greg Oden – 1st overall
Josh McRoberts – 37th overall
Derrick Byars – 42nd overall (traded with cash for Petteri Koponen)
Taurean Green – 52nd overall
Demetris Nichols – 53rd overall (traded for a future second-rounder)


Brandon Rush – 13th overall (traded with Jarrett Jack and Josh McRoberts for Jerryd Bayless and Ike Diogu)
Joey Dorsey – 33rd overall (3-team traded with Darrell Arthur for Nicolas Batum)
Omer Asik – 36th overall (3-team traded for three future second-rounders)
Mike Taylor – 55th overall (traded for a future second-rounder)


Victor Claver – 22nd overall
Dante Cunningham – 33rd overall
Jon Brockman – 38th overall (traded with Sergio Rodriguez and cash for Jeff Ayres)
Patrick Mills – 55th overall


Elliot Williams – 22nd overall
Armon Johnson – 34th overall


Nolan Smith – 21st overall
Jon Diebler – 51st overall


Damian Lillard – 6th overall
Meyers Leonard – 11th overall
Will Barton – 40th overall
Tyshawn Taylor – 41st overall (traded for cash)


C.J. McCollum – 10th overall
Jeff Withey – 39th overall (3-team traded with cash and two second-rounders for Robin Lopez)
Grant Jerrett – 40th overall (traded for cash)
Mirko Todorovic – 45th overall (traded with Kostas Papanikolau and two second-rounders for Thomas Robinson)

The draft picks you want are not always available, so I cannot fault Buchanan for contributing to a dud here and there (though Smith over Kenneth Faried in 2011 boggles me to this day). However; what he helped do with would-be duds is where the magic happened. Take a look at the draftees that were targeted via trade as opposed to those that were traded away on draft day:

Traded draftees:

Linas Kleiza, Ricky Sanchez, Tyrus Thomas, James White, Derrick Byars, Demetris Nichols, Brandon Rush, Joey Dorsey, Omer Asik, Mike Taylor, Jon Brockman, Tyshawn Taylor, Jeff Withey, Mirko Todorovic

Acquired draftees:

Jarrett Jack, LaMarcus Aldridge, Alexander Johnson, Petteri Koponen, Jerryd Bayless, Nicolas Batum, Jeff Ayres

May 10, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) looks up during pre game introductions in game three of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Buchanan has a trained eye for who will pan out and who will not. The only traded player worth keeping in that lot is Asik (and maybe Withey—time will tell). Yet, in return, the Trail Blazers received two stars in their current core (Aldridge & Batum), two players that would also have noteworthy NBA careers (Jack & Bayless), two strategic scrubs that were immediately traded for more picks (Johnson & Koponen), and one future tag-along NBA champion (Ayres). This is without mentioning the notable non-rookies Portland received in draft day trades. You can bet the scouting director was consulted about young players worth pursuing every time.

This is why I am going to miss Buchanan if he leaves. Even if the Trail Blazers didn’t always get their man, Buchanan was usually able to identify who the Trail Blazers should pursue after the fact. Trades like Thomas for Aldridge or Foye for Roy don’t just happen on a whim. The Hornets want Buchanan in their organization for good reason. His ability to identify young talent is a rare gift. His consultation helped build Portland’s present and we would be fools not to want him as part of our future.

*Foye was technically drafted by the Boston Celtics before being traded to the Trail Blazers who THEN traded him for Roy. Still a major move worth major mention, but it did not quite fit with the others.

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