Durant puts talent on display

PORTLAND — Kevin Durant worked out Friday with the Portland Trail Blazers, some 48 hours after Greg Oden made his appearance, as both players tried to sell themselves to the team with the top draft pick.

Durant, a 6-foot-9 forward out of Texas, was The Associated Press Player of the Year this past season as a freshman.

"I feel good here," he said. "Like I belong here."

As with Oden, several dozen fans stood at the Blazers' practice facility south of Portland, hoping for an autograph. Local journalists came out in droves.

"That was as impressive a workout as any I've seen in here," Blazers general manager Kevin Pritchard said.

The Big 12 player and freshman of the year, Durant averaged 25.8 points and 11.1 rebounds — one of three players in the country to average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds.

He shot 47 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 82 percent from the foul line. He led the Longhorns in steals and blocked shots and scored at least 30 points a Big 12-record 11 times.

Texas, which started four freshmen, finished third in the Big 12 and went to the second round of the NCAA tournament, losing to Southern California. The Longhorns finished 25-10.

During his workout, Durant went through defensive drills, took shots from 3-point range, and even dunked.

"There's not many things he can't do," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "He is a basketball player, and he showed that today."

The Blazers will likely choose between Oden and Durant when the NBA draft is held on June 28. Seattle has the No. 2 pick, meaning both players could land in the Pacific Northwest.

After getting a late start in his freshman year at Ohio State because of a wrist injury, Oden led the Buckeyes in scoring (15.7) and rebounding (9.6), and topped the Big Ten in shooting percentage (.616).

After working out for the Blazers on Wednesday, Oden was cleared by team doctors. He headed to Seattle, where he was expected to meet with team officials, but not work out.

Pritchard said it was difficult to compare Durant and Oden, except to say that both were extremely talented.

"You're looking at a guy who is a physical guy, in Greg, and a skill guy, in Kevin," he said.

Like Oden, Durant was greeted at the Portland airport by guard Brandon Roy, the NBA's Rookie of the Year, and center LaMarcus Aldridge. Team owner Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, watched the workout Friday.

Oden would be the top pick of many teams because franchise centers are rare. The Blazers, with Zach Randolph and Aldridge on the roster, could be one of the few in a position to consider Durant.

"To say, 'No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft' is big time," Durant said. "But if I go No. 2, I can't complain."

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