The Portland Trail Blazers have had their share of ups and downs over the last decade. While they’ve enjoyed some memorable moments that exhilarated fans, there are certainly decisions they’d like to have back. Here are eight do-overs the Blazers wish they could have, ranging from trades, free agents and draft picks to playoff series losses they almost won.
2007: Drafting Greg Oden over Kevin Durant
Portland had the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft and faced a difficult choice between center Greg Oden and forward Kevin Durant. They ultimately decided to pick Oden, thinking his defense and inside presence would pair nicely with a young Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Unfortunately, Oden ended up an injury-plagued bust, while Durant blossomed into an MVP and one of the greatest scorers the game has ever seen.
With 20-20 hindsight, the Blazers would draft Durant instead of Oden. Though Oden was the consensus top prospect going into the draft, there were warning signs with his previous injury history that the Blazers likely overlooked.
Durant, meanwhile, had a flawless college career at Texas and elite scoring skills that translated to the NBA level.
With Roy and Aldridge already in place, plugging Durant into that group could have given Portland one of the league’s most formidable young cores. The skilled and dynamic Durant would have perfectly complemented Roy and Aldridge, taking pressure off them on offense. His defense and rebounding also improved significantly over his early years.
Drafting Durant in 2007 could have changed Portland’s fortunes over the last decade and prevented the subsequent rebuild they had to undertake. Teamed with Roy and Aldridge in their primes, the Blazers likely would have become a consistent playoff threat and contender in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
They could have even brought a championship to Portland for the first time since 1977.
Unfortunately, injuries severely hampered Roy’s and Oden’s careers, while Durant went on to have a Hall of Fame career.
This is one of the biggest “what-ifs” in Blazers history.