June 8, 2007
It’s pure speculation at this point, but Portland Trailblazers beat writer John Canzano think it’s inevitable that JJ will be packing his bags this offseason. It’s a little surprising in that he looked like the clear cut PG of the future in Portland earlier in the year, but he did hit a massive rut as the season wore on. His game needs some polish, especially offensively. On top of that, Sergio Rodriguez was a very exciting, highlight-reel type of player off the bench. On top of that, Roy began handling a bulk of the late-game ball handling duties, a trend that will continue.
Portland is scheduling workouts with players who are going to be picked in the 10-25 range, which tells me the Blazers have already made a deal for a second first-round pick. I’m thinking Atlanta’s No. 11 pick, which makes me wonder if Jarrett Jack has already been dealt.
Spanish Chocolate has the tools to be an extremely effective point guard, but am I the only one who conjures up images of Jason Williams’ early years with the Kings when I see him? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Blazers are angling to snag Acie Law with the pick if they do make a move for it. Either way, we’ve heard from several sources that Portland is pushing to get into that portion of the draft. Hard. If they do have designs on Mr. Law, they’ll likely need to at least get in front of the Clippers at 14 because LA is in desperate need of another PG prospect. Sam Cassell is 37 going on 58 and I’ll be shocked if Shaun Livingston is ever an effective PG again (He has resumed walking though, so there’s that).
Here’s my question with all of this though: Isn’t Mike Conley Jr. an obligatory pick for the Hawks at this point after letting ball handlers Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Randy Foye and Brandon Roy slip through their fingers the last two drafts? Would acquiring Jack change that?