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Portland Trail Blazers

2013-14 record: 54-28

Second place, Northwest Division

Lost in conference semifinals to San Antonio

2014 Draft Picks: No Draft Picks

Draft Overview

Areas of Strength
Starting five. As long as Portland can get power forward LaMarcus Aldridge signed to a new deal after the 2014-15 season, they’ll possess one of the top All-Star tandems in the league with Aldridge and point guard Damian Lillard. Small forward Nicolas Batum is at stat-stuffer, and dead-eye shooter Wesley Matthews and dirty-work center Robin Lopez are both signed through next season.

 

Needs Work
The bench. Again. It was better than 2012-13 edition when the Blazers essentially had no help coming off the pine, but by the end of last season, only Mo Williams was a reliable reserve. Forward Thomas Robinson shows flashes of promise and Portland will work hard to make 2013 first-round pick C.J. McCollum a rotation player.

 

Two Stats That Matter 
108.3 -- Coach Terry Stotts’ offensive vision played out last season as Portland ranked fifth in the league, fourth in the Western Conference in offensive rating. They were dangerous from all points with Damian Lillard’s drives and 3-point shooting, LaMarcus Aldridge’s mid-range game and Wesley Matthews popping from beyond the arc.

 

104.7 -- Off the 15 other playoff teams, only the Dallas Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets had worse defensive ratings. The Spurs exploited Portland’s looseness in the second for four blowout victories in five games.

 

The Way To Go 
NBA.com's Draft expert, Scott Howard-Cooper, offers up his suggestions:
The Blazers’ first-round pick ended up in Charlotte and the second-rounder in Denver, but Paul Allen’s history of backing bold strikes with a financial commitment most opposing GMs can only dream of is a reminder there is always the possibility that Portland will be busy on Draft night. Point guards will be on the board in the 20s, five days before Mo Williams, the backup to Damian Lillard, likely heads into free agency with a player option. That would come with the early indication the Blazers see 2013 lottery pick C.J. McCollum as more shooting guard than point. If Portland is determined to re-sign Williams and make the issue moot, there should be good investments on the board late in the first if sitting out 60 picks proves impossible.

 

2012-13 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank) 
Offensive: 108.3 (5th) 
Defensive: 104.7 (16th)

 

Under Contract 
F: LaMarcus Aldridge
G: Will Barton 
F: Nicolas Batum
F: Victor Claver
G: Allen Crabbe
F/C: Joel Freeland
F/C: Meyers Leonard
G: Damian Lillard
C: Robin Lopez
G: Wesley Matthews
G: C.J. McCollum
F: Thomas Robinson 
G: Mo Williams (player option)
F: Dorrell Wright

 

Free Agents 
G: Earl Watson

 

Recent Draft History 
2013: C.J. McCollum (10), Jeff Withey (39), Grant Jarrett (40), Marko Todorovic (45)
2012: Damian Lillard (6), Meyers Leonard (11), Will Barton (40), Tyshawn Taylor (41, traded to New Jersey/Brooklyn)
2011: Nolan Smith (21), Jon Diebler (51)
2010: Elliot Williams (22), Armon Johnson (34) 
2009: Victor Claver (22), Dante Cunningham (33), Jon Brockman (38, traded to Sacramento), Patty Mills (55)
2008: Brandon Rush (13), Joey Dorsey (33, traded to Houston), Omer Asik (36, traded to Chicago), Mike Taylor (55, traded to the Los Angeles Clippers)
2007: Greg Oden (1), Josh McRoberts (37), Derrick Byars (42, traded to Philadelphia), Taurean Green (52), Demetris Nichols (53, traded to New York)

 

-- Jeff Caplan

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