The Portland Trail Blazers are a respected and well-run organization, but they’ve made some costly mistakes in their history, perhaps none bigger than their draft choices in 1984 and 2007.
For the former, they picked up Sam Bowie with the second overall pick, only to watch Michael Jeffrey Jordan get drafted just one spot down. In ’07, they chose Greg Oden with the first overall pick and while he showed a lot of promise, his career would pale in comparison to Kevin Durant, who was picked second (by Seattle) in that very same draft.
Needless to say, their unfortunate draft picks those years probably cost them years of success. According to Kendrick Perkins, it may have even cost them six Championships.
Would have 6 rings between the both of them!!! https://t.co/t7ztaT7zT8
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) July 10, 2020
Drafting Jordan would have pretty much guartunteed a few titles for Portland. He’s the (almost) unanimous G.O.A.T. and his presence alone would have completely changed the diraction of the franchise (like it did for the Bulls).
As for Durant, it’s harder to say how he would have fared, but one can imagine him leading them to multiple Finals victories if surrounded by the right players.
We’ll never know for sure what might’ve been had Portland made the right pick those years, but it just goes to show how important and destony-altering the draft can be. Teams lucky enough to land a top three pick should think long and hard before making their selection.