of ESPN.com's NBA Draft Rater
is a must-read every year. It uses college statistics in an attempt to project professional performance.
A few notes of interest for the Portland Trail Blazers...
Also warranting looks later in the lottery are two project-level bigs with more upside, especially at the defensive end: Andre Drummond and John Henson. Henson has a slightly higher rating, but as a 7-foot center, Drummond is virtually certain to be the higher pick.
Finally, a sleeper among bigs is Henry Sims of Georgetown. He is not a great athlete and will struggle defensively, but he is a high skill guy who could be a second-round steal.
One player that Draft Rater isn't crazy about is Damian Lillard of Weber State, who compiled strong numbers but did so against a weak schedule and is much older than most of the prospects at his position. He not only failed to outrank the top point guards above but also rates behind the less-heralded Tyshawn Taylor of Kansas. No. 6 clearly seems a stretch for Lillard, who looks more like a mid-to-late first-rounder in this analysis.
Drummond ranks No. 9 among bigs ahead of UNC center Tyler Zeller (No. 15) and Illinois center Meyers Leonard (No. 23).
Syracuse guard Dion Waiters is the No. 1 perimeter player, ahead of Kendall Marshall (No. 2), Tony Wroten (No. 6), Bradley Beal (No. 7), Austin Rivers (No. 12) and Damian Lillard (No. 14).
The Blazers worked out Sims on Monday and spent a good bit of time talking to him afterwards.
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