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Foster: Damian Lillard Will Be Future All-Star; Meyers Leonard Will Get Overpaid

One writer offers some predictions for the Portland Trail Blazers' two 2012 first-round picks.


D.J. Foster of ProBasketballTalk offers some thoughts on the Portland Trail Blazers' two 2012 first-round picks.

Sure-fire future All-Stars: Blazers G Damian Lillard

Lillard: He looks like the real deal already. His understanding and timing in the pick-and-roll is uncanny for a player his age, but it’s his ability to create space for himself that really separates him from other young point guards. According to Synergy Sports, Lillard is already the 14th most efficient scorer (points per play) in the league in isolation and 23rd in the pick-and-roll. With his separation ability and sweet shooting touch, Lillard’s scoring numbers should only ramp up from an already impressive 18 point per game average.

Most likely to get overpaid one day: Blazers C Meyers Leonard

Leonard: By the time he figures out the game and develops some actual offensive skill, he’ll hit restricted free agency. Some GM will look at that giant frame and great athleticism and bet he keeps on developing.

Also on PBT, Kurt Helin writes that former NBA All-Star Gary Payton plugs Lillard for Rookie of the Year.

"I like Damian Lillard because he's from Oakland, California, and he's a phenomenal basketball player," Payton said. "He should be the rookie of the year, he's playing very well right now for Portland and I love his game.

Leonard returned to practice on Friday after missing nearly three weeks with a sprained right ankle.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter