June 28, 2005
The day was finally here, Draft Day. One of the most exciting days of the NBA off-season and for all NBA fans, a chance to glimpse the future of their franchise. Little did everyone know, on this day the fortunes of 3 teams would be linked through a single trade.
I look forward to draft day to see GM’s like Kevin Pritchard work their magic, but on this day I feel that Kevin Pritchard single-handedly altered the playing futures of 3 Western Conference teams.
We all know how this draft unfolded – We all know where Chris Paul landed.
I beleive that Kevin Pritchard played a hand in shaping the futures of not only the Blazers, but the Jazz and Hornets as well. While we can only speculate on the “what-ifs” of draft day, the trade about to be mentioned could become the greatest trade the Hornets could have asked for, without any direct involvement.
Before the draft even began, Pritchard worked his magic. Trading down from the #3 pick to the #6 pick was just the beginning. The #6 pick came from Utah along with the #27 pick and a future pick, leading to a series of franchise altering events to occur.
Now you might be thinking “what is this clown on about?” but seriously think about it – If the Blazers/Jazz trade had never occurred, would Chris Paul have dropped to the Hornets at #4? Would the Jazz have gained a true PG to battle the records set by John Stockton? Would the Blazers have found themselves in a position to get both Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge in the 2006 draft? Would the city of New Orleans had rallied behind their team with Deron Williams at the helm? Would Chris Paul be playing MVP-worthy basketball to prove he should have been #1 in the draft?
So many “what-ifs” have stemmed from this single trade, with the fortunes of the Blazers, Jazz and Hornets all being changed by a simple exchange of picks. I’m not questioning the decisions made by any of the teams, but I put this to the readers.
Think about the “What-Ifs”
Think about the “Could-Haves”
Think about the impact that a single trade had on a franchise, a city, its fans and the game itself…