Oden or Durant? That's the question isn't it? That's whom everyone wants. Well the team currently making that decision, the Portland Trail Blazers, are doing just that. Dave has had a tremendous series of transcriptions (and audio) of Casey Haldahl and Jason Quick, both of O-Live, on Blazer's Edge. I suggest you all take a look at it if you're interested in how teams make these decisions. There's alot of good small stuff (Martell Webster, Trading Zach Randolph and why the other Blazers are showing up to these interviews) that makes this story all that more interesting. Here are the links:
A ranking of Zach Randolph's place in history. 2 things actually intrigue me about this. One name (obviously) who was on the list. Another who was left off. I might have to tell Dave that if I don't forget today.
A fascinating account of how a scumbag became a capologist guru. Okay Tom Penn wasn't a scumbag. It's just interesting. Notice the part about the Bonzi Wells trade if any of you get to that part.
Okay that's enough for now. I just thought that the draft process has been very interesting and since the Blazers own the pick EVERYBODY wants, I thought it was fair that the coverage of the process gets it's due.
Kevin Pritchard has maintained an open and honest mind about this whole Oden/Durant debate. There were some concerns about Oden's injury status that did scare Dave ,for instance, a few days ago. Yet the Blazers doing their due diligence seems to qualify that they won't be duped into Oden if he isn't really better than Durant. They need to be convinced that Oden is. An underlying theme of the Blazers rise to respectability is that Oden is the latest piece, not the entire cause, of redemption for this franchise looking to remove the stain of the "JB" era. (For the record I refuse to call guys who smoke pot criminals regardless of what the 'justice' system says.) Aldridge, Roy (remember him the rookie of the year?), Rodriguez, Outlaw, Webster, Udoka, Jack and Pryzbilla are all interesting as a group of players as it is. When you throw in Zach Randolph and Greg Oden it's certainly that much more intriguing. The Blazers, I feel, would be remiss to not sell Randolph for alot less than he's worth now because eventually he will become too expensive to move without taking something much worse back. That's the problem with paying guys max deals who aren't max players (hmmm does this remind anybody of a certain Michigan alumnus?). You eventually have to move these players for so many less cents on the dollar.
The big thing I wanted to point out that from a franchise perspective the Blazers are evolving from the management/ownership area and into the player realm (obviously). The process is ever changing ,and as time moves forward the end result is becoming that Portland has the goods to be a real dynasty over the next 10 years. The story is that Greg Oden will probably be just a part of that.