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Welcome to the Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard. And relax. You have absolutely zero pressure on you.
Since 1989, the Blazers have selected 10 guards with their first picks in the first round of NBA drafts. Damian, if you make one all-star team during that time, you will be better than any of those guys.
Heck, if you ever average better than 11 points per game in any one season with the Blazers, you will be better than any of those guys.
Maybe being a guard selected by the Trail Blazers is a kiss of dread in this league. Sorry, can’t call it the kiss of death. We think all those other guards are still alive, at least.
It hasn’t always been bad with Blazers and guards in the draft.
In 1985, the Blazers selected little known Terry Porter. In 1983, the Blazers selected Clyde Drexler. They had a great run, those two.
In 1982, it was Fat Lever. Sure, he only played a couple seasons in Portland, but he was a quality pick.
Jim Paxson in 1979 was a decent pick. In 1975, Lionel Hollins made the Blazers look good. So, too, with the very first pick for the franchise: Geoff Petrie.
Back to the dread. Here are the guards taken first by the Blazers since 1989:
2011: Nolan Smith. Played 44 games this season. Nothing to write home about.
2010: Elliot Williams. Played 22 games this season.
2005: Martel Webster. Now with Minnesota, has averaged 10 points per game once in his six seasons.
2004: Sebastian Telfair. Played for his sixth team this season. Career average of 7.6 points per game. Plus, he got caught with a gun on a plane. That probably was not in the scouting report.
2000: Erick Barkley. Played 27 games in two seasons.
1995: Shawn Respert. Traded away on draft day. Had a four-year career.
1994: Aaron McKie. Hey! A little success here. Long career. Only 21/2 seasons in Portland, though. Sixth man of the year in 2001 with Philly.
1993: James Robinson. Great nickname. Hollywood. However, he played more like Bakersfield.
1992: Dave Johnson. Maybe the Blazers thought they were getting the decathlete.
1989: Byron Irvin. Yeah.
Like we said, no pressure Damian. You have virtually no shoes to fill the past two decades.
Plus, if you are a bust, you are guaranteed not be among the top three draft busts in Blazer history. Those are all center-related.
See, no pressure at all.
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