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Ford Picks Kentucky Forward Trey Lyles for Blazers

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The earliest of mock drafts has the Blazers shoring up a traditional position of strength.

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Chad Ford came out with an early version of his mock draft today via ESPN Insider. With the 23rd pick of the first round Ford has the Portland Trail Blazers chasing Trey Lyles, a forward from Kentucky:

Needs: PF, backup SF
Round 1 (23) Trey Lyles, PF, Fr., Kentucky
Analysis: LaMarcus Aldridge looks like he might have one foot out the door, which would leave a gaping
hole at power forward for the Blazers. I don't think you find his replacement at No. 23, but in Lyles, you
have a chance. I'm not sure how sexy a pick Lyles is. He reminds me a bit of a young Carlos Boozer. But
the Canadian native has a high basketball IQ, a nice mid-range game and at this point in the draft, I think
he's a great value pick for the Blazers.

The 19-year-old forward averaged 8.7 points on 48.8% shooting for the Wildcats as a freshman, adding 5.2 rebound in 23 minutes per game. He's listed at 6'10", 250lbs.

His DraftExpress profile is here.