Blazers agree to deal with Hornets for 27th pick
Updated: June 25, 2008, 6:16 PM ETBy Chad Ford | ESPN.com
Sergio Rodriguez in 2006. The Trail Blazers already have the 13th overall selection and adding the 27th pick would give them five draft picks overall, including three in the second round. The Trail Blazers also have yet to see action from Greg Oden, last year's top overall pick in the draft, because of knee surgery that sidelined him for all of his rookie season. It's unclear who the Blazers are eyeing at No. 27. One possibility is Croatian big man Ante Tomic, whom the Blazers have coveted for years. Other potential targets are French swingman Nicolas Batum, who has slipped in the draft because of concerns about his heart, and Memphis swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts. Hornets general manager Jeff Bower declined to confirm the trade, saying nothing is official until the league approves it. However, he talked about how the Hornets' could benefit in free agency by taking cash for their only pick in this year's NBA draft. The Hornets fell one victory short of the Western Conference finals this past season, losing in seven games to the San Antonio Spurs in the second round. Bower said it is rare for a rookie selected in the bottom fifth of the draft's opening round to be a difference-maker on a team looking to contend for a championship. "That type of production normally comes two or three years down the road," Bower said. The Hornets' rebuilding years are behind them, however, and head coach Byron Scott has only two seasons on his current contract. With a starting lineup that includes All-Stars Chris Paul and David West, along with perimeter sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic and 7-foot-1 center Tyson Chandler, the goal is to contend for a title next season. Conventional wisdom points to free agency as the fastest way to make the Hornets, who won a franchise-record 56 games in the regular season, a better playoff team. "We have to make the judgment as to where we can get the quickest help," Bower said. "So we're looking at, really, from a draft pick at 27 or maybe we're better served looking at other avenues." With no incoming rookies, the Hornets would add money that would otherwise have been spent on draft choices into their pot for free agency -- in addition to cash received from another team in a trade, which could be as high as $3 million under league rules, Bower said. As of Wednesday, the Hornets did not have a second-round choice in the draft. It was traded to Houston last season as part of a deal that sent Bobby Jackson to the Rockets in exchange for Bonzi Wells and Mike James. Houston later dealt that pick, the 56th overall, to Seattle. Wells will become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Chad Ford covers the NBA for ESPN Insider. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Thunder handle Grizzlies to win at home
- Well off pace: Hawks hammer No. 1 Indiana
- Warriors sink Clippers for Game 1 road win
- Nets claim opener as D-Will has 24
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
2008 NBA Draft
We've got the 2008 draft covered. Who are the top prospects? Check out our analysis, projections, scouting reports and more. '08 NBA Draft Index • Roundup: A rundown of who went where
• Keeping up with draft day trades
• Mayo to Memphis, Love to Minnesota
• Simmons, Ford: Great Draft Debate '08
• Chad Ford's Mock Draft 7.0: Picks 1-30 | 31-60
• Chad Ford's Mock Draft 6.1: Picks 1-30 | 31-60
• Chad Ford's Mock Draft 6.0: Picks 1-30 | 31-60
• Chad Ford's Mock Draft: Version 5.0
• Chad Ford's Mock Draft: Version 4.0
• Chad Ford's Mock Draft: Version 3.0
• Chad Ford's Mock Draft: Version 2.0
• Chad Ford's Mock Draft: Version 1.0
• Draft Machine: Make your picks
• Who's in, who's out of 2008 draft?
• Ford's Top 100: Best draft prospects
Chad Ford• Draft Watch: How high or low will they go?
• Draft Notes: Heat trading Beasley pick?
• Draft Notes: Rose-Beasley rages in Chicago
• NBA draft strategy: Ranking prospects by tiers
• Draft Watch: Teams coveting UCLA's Westbrook
• Draft Watch: Final in/out decisions made
• Draft Watch: Rush's hot, Arthur's not
• Draft Watch: International top 15
• Draft Watch: Alexander's hot, Lawson's not
• Draft Watch: Miami takes close look at Mayo
• Draft Watch: Using the measurements
• Draft Watch: Analyzing combine results
• Draft Watch: Analyzing official measurements
• Draft Notes: Who's looking to trade their pick?
• Draft Notes: Stars come out in Orlando
• Draft Notes: Beasley, Rose a marked contrast
• Draft Stock Watch: Forbes taking wing on charts
• Draft Notes: No. 1 question looms over Paxson
• Draft Watch: Lawson bouncing back
• Draft Notes: Rumors, promises and PGs
• Draft Watch: Orlando hopefuls eye first round
• Draft Watch: Could Mayo be the No. 2 pick?
• Draft Watch: Who's No. 1 -- Rose or Beasley?
• Draft Watch: Mayo's stock is rising again
• Draft Watch: Judging early entry calls
• Draft Watch: Nike Hoop Summit buzz
John Hollinger• Draft Rater: How will the Euros translate?
• Draft Rater: Who are the best perimeter players?
• Draft Rater: Who are the best big men?
• Draft Rater: Beasley has most pro potential
• Rating college prospects
More Analysis• Katz: Bayless, Gordon survived turmoil
• Katz: Freshmen could produce record numbers
• Katz: Draft trade rumors abound
• Gottlieb: Mayo impresses while others falter
• Katz: On top 12 picks
• Katz: Rose's unique passion to win
• Fraschilla: Who made right choice to return?
• Katz: Heels win on withdrawal day
• Katz: Anderson still on fence
Draft Lottery• Ford: Beasley-Rose debate rages in Chicago
• Bulls win lottery; get first pick
• Ford: Will Bulls take Beasley No. 1?
• Vote: What should Bulls do?
• Katz: Lottery projections
• Fraschilla: Projecting picks 1-14
Podcasts• NBA Dish: Paxson on winning lottery
• Mike & Mike: Paxson on No. 1 pick
• NBA Dish: Joe Abunassar, NBA trainer
• NBA Dish: Kevin Love, UCLA
SportsNation• NBA Draft polls
Fantasy• McKitish: Most freshmen have little impact
• McKitish: Beasley and Rose as NBA rooks
- adidas Youth Portland Trail Blazers climalite All NBA Red Long Sleeve Shirt