The Portland Trail Blazers were exceptionally active on the day of the 2011 NBA Draft, and might actually have improved the team for next season. We think. We're pretty sure. Maybe.
Here's how we grade the scrum.
Gained: Raymond Felton, Nolan Smith, Jon Diebler (apparently).
Synopsis: Is Felton an upgrade on Miller? This could be the great question of our times. Felton isn't a great deep shooter but can fill it up a bit, here and there. He did well in the Charlotte Bobcats' slowdown attack for five years. He's a nice defender and distributor. He's like the definition of "OK." Raymond "OK" Felton, NBA point guard.
Miller, at this point, is about the same: a middling shooter, a distributor of some note, a decent defender, an "OK" point guard. Both of the players are on one-year contracts. Neither is expensive or cheap. The Denver Nuggets have Ty Lawson, a legit good point guard, as a starter. The Blazers don't. So if both teams tried to tread water with the deal, Denver can afford to. Portland can't.
That Portland also had to give up Fernandez and the rights to Koponen (who had grown tired of the Blazers' unwillingness to bring him over -- he's a promising point guard, by the way) is further madness. As Blazer's Edge's Dave notes, this is the big shake-up to get this team on track? Really?
For more on Portland, visit Blazer's Edge.
Hit our 2011 NBA Draft hub for full coverage of the aftermath.