Anytime the Portland Trail Blazers face the New Orleans Hornets, it’s hard not to think about Chris Paul partnering in the same backcourt as Brandon Roy. No need to close your eyes to imagine that dream team. Just look back to the 2005 NBA Draft for a swig of reality juice and what could have been.
Ignore the chewy pulp. That’s just hindsight.
At the time, Portland owned the third-overall selection. Then President Steve Patterson and then General Manager John Nash opted to move down in the draft. They traded the pick to the Utah Jazz for the sixth and 27th overall picks and a 2006 conditional first-round pick.
We know how this one played-out: Deron Williams to Utah, Paul to New Orleans, Raymond Felton to Charlotte and Martell Webster to Portland.
Was it the right move?
There are two camps here. One camp believes without that Jazz-Blazers trade, Portland wouldn’t have been able to obtain Brandon Roy with the sixth pick in 2006. Give Kevin Pritchard more credit than that. Something tells me he would have got his man regardless.
The other camp knows Patterson and Nash missed the boat. Their faith was in Sebastian Telfair. Remember, Sabby was the point guard of the future for the Blazers at that time. Now Portland is still searching for their point guard of the future and Paul is busy being the best point guard in the league.
He went from Rookie of the Year in 2006 to an All-Star, first-team All-NBA and first team All-Defense last season. He led the Hornets to one of the best records in the NBA last year (56-26). He pushed New Orleans into the second-round of the playoffs. He finished second in MVP honors. He won a Gold medal this past summer.
No offense Martell….or Deron (it’s Deron!)….or Raymond…. but that resume isn’t too darn shabby. Anyone want to call for a draft do-over?
Now picture Paul alongside a smooth shooting guard, a foreign import at small forward, an underappreciated power forward and young talented center and tell me how sick that would be.
Wait a minute – that’s the New Orleans Hornets starting five.
Guess the only time Roy and Paul will be on the same team for the next 10-15 years will be at NBA all-star games representing the West.
And it goes a little something like this….
pic via: daylife