Discussion

Debate: Critiquing the Greg Oden pick

Kevin Durant is now a superstar, but can we fault Portland for drafting the big man?

Updated: September 23, 2010, 3:36 PM ET
By Chris Broussard and Ric Bucher | ESPN The Magazine

The only thing Ric Bucher and Chris Broussard like to do more than report on the NBA is argue about the NBA. So we decided to combine those two skills for Insider's weekly One-on-One series, in which they'll debate the hottest topics in the Association.

Question: Should we be critical of the Portland Trail Blazers for taking Greg Oden over Kevin Durant in the 2007 draft?

BUCHER: With Kevin Durant leading the NBA in scoring last season, and then leading Team USA to a gold medal in the FIBA World Championship this summer, the wisdom behind the Trail Blazers' making Greg Oden the No. 1 overall pick over Durant in 2007 is being roundly questioned. Here's the problem: Based on what everyone knew at the time, Portland made the appropriate pick.

BROUSSARD: I agree with you that the overwhelming majority of NBA decision-makers and followers, including myself, would have taken Oden over Durant. But so what? That doesn't mean Portland didn't make a mistake. Oden may one day be an All-Star, but he'll never be a top-five player like KD.

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