Thursday , Jun , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Portland Trail Blazers 2006 Draft Preview

(Sports Network) – Portland cannot afford any kind of mistake with the
fourth overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. The Trail Blazers finished the
2005-06 campaign with a league-worst 21-61 record and missed the playoffs for
a third straight year.

Power forward Zach Randolph led the Trail Blazers in scoring (18.0 ppg) and
rebounding (8.0 rpg), while Steve Blake dished out a team-best 4.5 assists per
game. Randolph is Portland’s best player and at least gives them a presence in
the low post.

Guard Jarrett Jack and forward Martell Webster showed some promise as rookies
this past season, while guard Juan Dixon netted 12.3 per game in 76 contests.
Point guard Sebastian Telfair averaged 9.5 points and 3.6 assists in his
second year in the league.

Disgruntled forward Darius Miles played 40 games and registered 14.0 points
and 4.6 rebounds. Miles would like to be traded and the team will most likely
try to accommodate him.

The Trail Blazers would like Telfair, Randolph and Webster to makeup three-
fifths of their starting lineup. The fourth overall pick should be able to get
them another piece to the starting lineup.

Italy’s Andrea Bargnani, who has been compared to Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, could
be the pick at No. 4, while Connecticut’s Rudy Gay or Washington’s Brandon Roy
may also be intriguing.

Portland also has the 30th and 31st picks, and has to be careful with those
selections. It could be a very big day for the Trail Blazers if they make
smart picks.

Key Player(s): Steve Blake (Guard), Juan Dixon (Guard), Jarrett Jack (guard),
Darius Miles (Forward), Joel Przybilla (Center), Zach Randolph (Forward), Theo
Ratliff (Center), Sebastian Telfair (Guard), Martell Webster (Forward).

Team Needs: An outside shooter, inside toughness and scoring.

Draft picks: 1st round (4th overall), 2nd round (30th overall), 2nd round
(31st overall).