The 50 years of Trail Blazers is temporarily on hiatus while the NBA is on hiatus to slow the spread of COVID-19. During that hiatus, Blazer’s Edge is counting the top 100 blazers: players, managers and other influencers who made the franchise what it is today.
Games played with blazers: 240 Regular season, 0 Post season
* PTS: 9.5 | AST: 4.0 | FG%: 44.3 | % 3PT: 33.2
* Statistics are taken from a player’s time in Portland
Participating club: 2005 NBA draft, 22nd overall selected
Club out: July 2008 exchanged with Josh McRoberts and Brandon Rush with Indiana Pacers for Jerryd Bayless and Ike Diogu
Place in history: The 2005 NBA Draft will not be remembered together with 1984, when the Blazers took Sam Bowie on Michael Jordan, or 2007 when they took Greg Oden on Kevin Durant. However, it did sport one of the most controversial decisions in Portland’s blurred history draft. Holding the third overall choice with future Hall-of-Famer Chris Paul still on the scoreboard (along with future All-Star Deron Williams), the Blazers swapped their selection for the 6th and 27th selections. With the sixth choice they would choose the Martell Webster high school marksman. They would have shared the twenty-seventh choice in the 23 of Denver, taking a combo guard named Jarrett Jack.
Jack was the best utility player. He could score, shoot from half distance, not embarrass himself on the arch, dribble, distribute and defend. It did not shine in any of these areas; provided a multi-pronged threat, the silver spear of the Portland defense zone. He came out of the gate a bit wobbly, but still has an average of a service / turnover ratio of 2.2: 1. He would have equaled his second season while increasing his minutes, the percentage of goals on the pitch, the percentage of three points, the percentage of free throw and the general assistance totals as a guard at the Portland starting point. It was a great assignment for a young player, but Jack never jumped. He passed 20 points eight times, twice scoring 30. The Blazers had a result in their hands.
Jack’s career in Portland may have been long, but it was between the vice of Brandon Roy rising above him and a pair of potential substitutes in Steve Blake and Sergio Rodriguez rising below. Rodriguez was a better ball player, Blake a better shooter. With Roy turning into All-Star and LaMarcus Aldridge requiring more touches, the Blazers didn’t need another dribbling oriented player in the initial defense zone. They moved their Jack-of-all-trades to Indiana for a rebound in Ike Diogu and Jerryd Bayless.
Jack would move on to a 13-year NBA career, becoming one of the most skilled and enduring players of his generation before injuries slowed him down in 2015. He always shot well inside the arc, averaging a lot of assists. and mark where necessary. Several times over the next decade, the Blazers may have wished to have him back, particularly after knee injuries claimed Roy’s career.
In tribute to being underestimated during his time in Portland, due to the circumstances and composition of the roster, and in tribute to what he has become, Jarrett Jack makes the 82nd position in our countdown of the players of Trail Blazer and influential figures.
The highlights of Trail Blazers are hard for JJ to find, but enjoy watching what has become.
Discuss your thoughts and memories of Jarrett Jack below and try again every day as we continue the countdown to no. 1.