Portland Trail Blazers: Counting down the most interesting Draft player comparisons in team history

CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /

Just as players are hit-or-miss on shots, NBA Draft scouts have had their fair share of whiffs in evaluating prospects. Here’s a look at some of the most interesting draft comparisons they’ve provided for Portland Trail Blazers players.

Quick: without Googling, can you name the last time the Portland Trail Blazers signed a free agent that immediately catapulted them into title contention?

If you’ve been at this long enough, maybe your mind went to Rod Strickland, an on-the-rise, 25-year-old point guard in 1992. Or, maybe you thought adding Wesley Matthews or Andre Miller to those young 50-win Blazers teams was enough to throw them over the top.

Regardless, here’s the underlying point: with five decades of a sample size, we can be almost sure that no superstar free agents are signing the dotted line to come play in Portland’s small market. Spectacles like “The Decision,” or Kevin Durant’s “My Next Chapter” are virtually saved for bigger markets and bigger name teammates.

That in mind, seeing Portland blossom into a championship team for the first time since 1977 means it’ll be homegrown, stocked with Draft gems, under-the-radar sneaky signings, and a little bit of luck. With the Draft not only being such a big focus for the Blazers brass, but also being one of the few things to look forward to with the season canceled, why not have a little fun today?

Blazers history has been written through crazy predictions. From Damian Lillard’s infamous “Blazers in six” call (which the media exaggerated) to C.J. McCollum etching the title-or-bust tag to this season, off-the-court words have made the on-court results that much more fun to watch.

Just as players aren’t always sound in judgment, neither are the guys who observe the game. In the clickbait era, anything is possible. But over the years, we’ve seen Dante Exum be compared to Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, we’ve allowed Kyrie Irving to be described as “a rich man’s Eric Maynor,” and every tall, breathing European that’s ever hit a shot outside the paint to be compared to the great Dirk Nowitzki.

As it relates to Portland, experts had their fair share of scouting whiffs, which sometimes allows us to become overly excited about what we Draft. So, let’s take a look at a few of them, and share some laughs along the way.