The Trail Blazers will have three selections in the mid-to-late first round of the upcoming NBA Draft, giving them an opportunity to reunite Oakland neighbors, Damian Lillard and Ivan Rabb. After relocating to the bay area as a youngster, Rabb found himself living across the street from the future star point guard of the Blazers.
Jason Quick of CSN NW caught up with Rabb at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago, and asked him about his unique connection to Lillard.
“I’ve been knowing him for a time,’’ Rabb said of the Trail Blazers’ star. “And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten to know him a little more.’’
Along with his personal connection to the Blazers’ frontman, the former Cal big man is currently under the tutelage of Chris Farr and Anthony Eggleton, the same duo that helped Lillard prepare for the NBA in the spring of 2012. With the help of his training staff, Rabb is trying to copy a few traits from Lillard’s game.
“The main thing is his work ethic,’’ Rabb said of Lillard. “Coach Farr always talks about how hard he worked and (Coach Eggleton) talked about how he was focused and dedicated to everything they told him to do. So that’s something I’m trying to emulate. Why not? He’s doing great things and I want to be on his level one day.’’
If the Blazers decide to take a chance on the rebounding specialist, they will be getting a player who welcomes the chance to play alongside Lillard at the next level.
“I feel like him being there, he will push me to make sure I succeed,’’ Rabb said. “He would be a great mentor to have.’’
Rabb averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebound per game during his sophomore season at Cal, and he is projected to be selected somewhere in the range of all three of Portland’s draft choices (15, 20, 26).
Chris Haynes of ESPN reports that the Trail Blazers have scheduled a workout with Rabb, who shares Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin.
Cal big man Ivan Rabb will work out for Portland at some point after combine, league sources tell ESPN. Trail Blazers owns picks 15, 20, 26.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) May 12, 2017
The 2017 NBA Draft is more than a month away, on June 22, so the Trail Blazers have plenty of time to determine which bright young players are the best fit for them.