Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Insider) takes a look at who the Portland Trail Blazers would select if they jump up from the No. 10 slot into one of the top-three spots when the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery drawing is conducted on Tuesday.
First choice: Ben McLemore (1.1 percent)
Second choice: Victor Oladipo (1.3 percent)
Third choice: Nerlens Noel (1.6 percent)
Analysis: The Blazers are still recovering from the last time they had the No. 1 pick in 2007. They selected Greg Oden over Kevin Durant (and, by the way, so would have all 30 GMs in the league), and the rest is history. Durant became the second-best player in the NBA behind James and Oden has played a total of 82 games since the 2007-08 season. If they're fortunate enough to get the pick again, would they really gamble on a guy who is coming off ACL surgery? I'm told yes ... but I'm not sure Neil Olshey could really do that to Blazers fans. The team could still also use more help in the backcourt. McLemore has one of the best strokes in college basketball. Oladipo could provide some lockdown defense next to Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard.
Ford wrote earlier this year that he expected the Blazers to take McLemore No. 1 overall if given the opportunity.
The Blazers were linked to rumored interest in Oladipo last week.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter