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Dear John Nash

6/24/2005

I like you. I appreciate that you are frank. I believe you want to do what's best, even when that's tough. I appreciate your hard work, your savvy, and the fact that you have been around.

No one here is perfect, and there are those who questions your abilities as a talent evaluator. (For as long as you've been a GM, Tom Gugliotta is nothing to hang your hat on. "I wanted to draft Kobe but..." is hardly satisfying to those of us who need you to resurrect the team we love.)

But I don't care what happened in the past. I just need you to be great right now. You're the guy running the show. You have done a great job in the last few years setting is up for the future--we have lots of good young players around and I expect we'll improve dramatically.

So I trust your instincts. Over the next few days, I want you to use them like never before.

Do us proud. This year, with our #3 pick (such a high pick!) and some tradeable assets, don't back us into some compromise deal that's going to CYA, please some agent, or save some luxury tax. This summer, with this pick, let's get a keeper or two--players who will still be around when Blazermania returns in full force.

Whatever happens, let's not make this #3 pick something that you'll be talking about in a bar fifteen years from now, telling everyone that you knew this or that player would be the next great superstar, but...

Let's go with your gut. If you believe one of those point guards really is the next Jason Kidd or John Stockton, well it's plain and simple: we have to have him, even if it means moving Sebastian Telfair. Those guys are once a decade, and they are gold. Similarly, if Marvin Williams is going to lead teams to titles, well let's move the earth to get him--Atlanta needs a point guard anyway, right?

Then there are the two special high-school shooting guards, Gerald Green and Martell Webster. It sounds like you love Webster with good reason. But if in your heart, Green is the next big thing, I'm begging you to call his name on Tuesday.

Then there are all those trades that might happen. Possibilities too endless to mention. Through the fog of the next few days, though, promise me this. Don't think about making a mediocre team into an OK team. Picture the pieces we will have in place when we're great, and then go get us some of them. Let's play to win.