Jerami Grant and Yusef Nurkic will make up Portland Trail Blazers The front court begins next season. The pair have enjoyed varying levels of success and disappointment throughout their career, which began on draft night in 2014.
Nurkic was captured by the 16th pick, which was traded from Chicago Bulls to me Denver Nuggets that night. Grant, son and nephew of respected names in the NBA, was later selected with the 39th pick by Philadelphia 76ers.
As we know, NBA champion Andrew Wiggins was chosen first by a team Cleveland Cavaliersbefore dealing with Minnesota Timberwolves As part of the deal that united Kevin Love with LeBron James on the latter’s return to Ohio.
Al Jabri Parker went to Milwaukee BucksJoel Embiid to 76, Aaron Gordon to Orlando Magic, Australian Dante Exum fifth to Utah Jazz. Oh, there was also an unknown Serb named Nikola Djokic who was shockingly taken with pick number 41 by the Nuggets.
Portland’s first all-rounder had traveled quite a bit before being executed on draft night. It was initially traded to the Charlotte Bobcats as part of the deal that brought Gerald Wallace to the Blazers in 2011. This selection was handled to Miami Heat On enlistment night in 2014 for future Blazer Shabazz Napier – at the time he was LeBron James’ favorite pick before he left the South Florida franchise. The Hornets received the 26th selection, BJ Hurston and two from the second round.
Portland’s second-round pick was sent to Denver, also in 2011, in the deal that landed Raymond Felton in Portland. I apologize to everyone. It was traded on The Night Project to Orlando Magicwho picked Devyn Marble in the 56th pick. So, it was a quiet night for basketball fans in Oregon with Nurkic not arriving in Portland until 2017 and Grant two and a half months ago.
Previous Blazers were chosen that night
Aside from Napier, Rodney Hood, who represented the Blazers between 2019 and 2021 with the 23rd selection, was selected by the Utah Jazz. Noah Funleigh was captured by the ninth pick by Charlotte Hornets Before it was dealt with Portland in 2015 as part of the Nicholas Batum deal. And with the eighth pick, Nik Stauskas (Sauce Castillo) is secured by Sacramento Kingsand eventually spent half a season with the Blazers in 2018-19.
Redefining any draft is difficult. There are a number of influencing factors. For the purposes of this piece, we use five criteria. Each player is rated out of 10 against each with five scores added together.
production up to this point
Highest level of team achievement
The level of importance in their candidate lists
1. Nikola Jokic (48) – Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Joel Embiid (47) – Milwaukee Bucks
3. Zach Lavigne (42) – Philadelphia 76ers
4. Andrew Wiggins (41) – Orlando Magic
5. Marcus Smart (39) – Utah Jazz
6 – Jeramy Grant (39) – Boston Celtics
7 – Aaron Gordon (38) – Los Angeles Lakers
8 – Clint Capella (36 years old) – Sacramento Kings
9 – Yosef Nurkic (36) – Charlotte Hornets
10. Bogdan Bogdunovich (34) – Philadelphia 76ers
11. Joe Harris (33) – Chicago Bulls
12. Julius Rundle (33) – Orlando Magic
13. Jordan Clarkson (32) – Minnesota Timberwolves
14. Kyle Anderson (30) – Phoenix Sun
15 – Spencer Dinwiddy (28) – Atlanta Hawks
16. Dwight Powell (27) – Denver Nuggets
17. Maxi Clipper (24) – Boston Celtics
18 – Dario Sarik (23) – Phoenix Suns
TJ Warren, Elfred Payton, Gary Harris, Rodney Hood, Kim Birch
The two best options were absolutely no-brainers. Jokic is the two-time mainstream MVP and Embiid is one of the most dominant presences we’ve seen in the modern era. From here it gets a little more difficult. LaVine and Wiggins come next with the latter taking his top spot, based on a recent stunning finals performance.
Marcus Smart’s stock has also risen recently, making him the fifth choice. While his lack of shooting is certainly a limitation, it surpasses in most other aspects of the game and by all reports the presence of the all-important locker room in Boston.
Portland’s latest acquisition, Jeramy Grant, finished sixth (jumping 33 places) and has real potential to move up further depending on how the next nine months perform.
Next comes Athletic Nuggets senior Aaron Gordon, followed by Hawks center Clint Kabila who benefited from playing alongside two decent guards during his two stops. Grant’s front-court partner, Josef Nurkic, jumps to the lottery at nine. The big man had the ability and skill to rise to the top, but his body and mental framework, at times, let him down. I will say it would have been fun if he hadn’t been fighting Djokic for a few minutes at first.
The one that might shock some is Randall. Yes, he was an All-Star and the second and most improved NBA team of 2021, but apart from this unreal season, he left a lot to be desired and became a real handicap in the Knicks’ bottom line.
If these selections have already been made
Does Jokic Trade Timberwolves Like Wiggins? likely. But if the big Serb shows up early, the wolves might go, uh, D’Angelo Russell, instead of Karl-Anthony Towns in 2015. Hey, maybe they did their due diligence and picked Devin Booker – we’ll never know. But this is the franchise that chose Johnny Flynn over Steve Curry.
The Bucks get Giannis Antetokounmpo and Embiid in consecutive years. Yikes. Add an improper supporting crew and Milwaukee will win big. LaVine goes for Philly, but with it’s been crafted up and down in recent years, who knows where they end up. Wiggins goes to Magic, and you have to imagine he performs similar to his years in the Wolves jersey. Smart is an interesting prospect alongside Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert, whom Jazz picked up 12 months ago. Grant goes to Bean Town, arriving before Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. Gordon joins the lowly Lakers seeing Kobe Bryant’s farewell tour and stays at least until LeBron James arrives in 2018.
Poor Capella goes to the Kings and Norkic ends up in Charlotte which he can probably do with him now. Bogdanovic joins LaVine in Philadelphia for an exciting wing spin. While Harris goes for the Bulls, there is a clear upgrade on Doug McBuckets.
After eight years not owning their first all-rounder in the 2014 draft, the Blazers ended up with two top 10 players in his front area. Nurkic sees a slight jump in his draft value of 16 but you wonder how his career would end if he didn’t leave the struggle with Jokic for some time on the court.
Jokic was clearly the biggest surprise here, but Grant also enjoyed a good run after being picked from relative obscurity in the second round. All vision is 20-20 in hindsight and I’m sure most teams regret their drafting decisions, but for the entire league to allow the talent of the two-times best player to go down so far it was clear that there wasn’t enough time and money being put in European Championships Poll.