I think the following three most glaring areas of need are important when discussing whom POR would pick. I ranked them in what I think would be the greatest area of importance to fill.
1) Lack of scoring - POR ranks dead last in offense, this is a major problem IMO...yeah it SHOULD get better as players (Webster/Jack/Telfair/Khryapa) improve, but if POR dumps Miles as I think they will...that won't help & I do think scoring will once again be a major issue. I think this is the #1 issue POR should look to address in the draft.
POTENTIAL PLAYERS WHO COULD FILL THIS NEED: Adam Morrison, Rudy Gay (projected), Rodney Carney
2) Lack of size\rebounding - POR has been killed on the boards this year. Part of this is Zach's lack of interest in defensive rebounding, but POR should NOT be as bad as they have looked at times...this is the most "fluid" situation...A lot of factors will determine how much interest POR will have in addressing "size" on draft day...namely...Will Pryzbilla return? Will Theo be dealt? What about Zach? Is Skinner coming back? HA isn't ready, and the status of all four "bigs" is somewhat up in the air. I think this is the #2 issue (and possibly #1 depending on what happens) POR should look to address in the draft\offseason.
POTENTIAL PLAYERS WHO COULD FILL THIS NEED: LaMarcus Aldridge, Tyrus Thomas, Joakim Noah, Shelden Williams, Andrea Bargnani
3) POR "extreme" youth - By this I mean the HS kids, I think this coupled with "vets" failing to produce as expected has produced the lethal losing mix the team is suffering under now...It SHOULD get better as these young players mature, but I don't think mgmt is eager to go after another long term (2-3yr) project. I think this will be a consideration at draft time and certainly in free agency, how much so at draft time, I don't know...
POTENTIAL PLAYERS IN THE DRAFT WHO PROVIDE MORE "EXPERIENCE": Adam Morrison, Brandon Roy, Shelden Williams, Rodney Carney
Two things I see here, one is that (if) Thomas\Noah & Aldridge declare, then the draft will be strong (at the top) in size....All of the bigs (outside of Shelden Williams) are very young though, meaning 2-3 year projects...POR could use another big though...POR needing size and the possible strength at this position could be a strong factor in POR leaning this way
Secondly, I think a key question is will youth scare off POR? Thomas is a freshman, Noah\Aldridge are sophmores...Bargnani is 19? 20?...Given the slow maturation process of Outlaw\Telfair and Webster, would mgmt really add ANOTHER 2-3 year project?
My answer is, I don't think POR mgmt is nearly as skittish as fans are to not draft a 2-3 year project AGAIN....If they project Thomas\Noah or Bargnani as the player with the greatest upside, I think they will take them...but I do think if all things are equal, or close to equal in their eyes, they may very well opt for an older player...be it Morrison, Roy or Williams....and I don't think "age" is the key factor here...I think maturation (both physically and mentally) is more the gauge. So where a Bargnani, who has been playing in a tough\tougher euroleague at 19-20, may be more ready and have more experience than a Tyrus Thomas, whose play has been sporadic as a redshirt frosh...I do think if mgmt viewed these two, for example as close, but liked Thomas' potential upside a little more but thought it might take significantly longer for him to potentially reach it, then there is a good chance they COULD lean towards the more experience player...be it Bargnani (in this example), Aldridge or Gay.
At this juncture, I think POR board is squarely centered around Adam Morrison...he fits the scoring the team needs, he is a more "experienced" player...he has local appeal, and yes to the dismay of some, he has some intangibles that other players in this draft do not....
After that, I would think Aldridge would be the 2nd choice (if he decalres), followed by Bargnani, whom both Pritchard (a few times I think) and Nash have scouted...
However, one important factor will be how guys like Thomas & Noah (if they declare), Gay and Roy work out for POR, I think it is very likely that outside of probably Morrison\Aldridge, one of these guys could rise to the top of the board....particulary so if Morrison and Aldridge are gone.
I'd like to see what player everyone here thinks POR will pick, not who you think they should pick, but who current mgmt will take and why...I put a poll up as well.