The NBA Draft lottery Tuesday night didn’t matter to the Portland Trail Blazers as they already knew they’d be picking No. 24 overall, but it did complete the 2018 NBA Draft order, pushing us one step closer to the draft on June 21. The completion of the lottery also brought instant-reaction mock drafts as speculation runs high in anticipation of the draft. Let’s see who draft experts around the basketball community have going to Portland at pick 24.
SB Nation: De’Anthony Melton
Ricky O’Donnell of SB Nation pegs USC guard De’Anthony Melton for Portland at 24 given his defensive instincts:
Melton is a jack-of-all-trades guard. He’s a tough and versatile defender, a secondary playmaker and a great rebounder. He was ruled ineligible this season at USC because of rumors about his involvement in the FBI scandal, but the NBA will remember his breakout freshman season. He’d give the Portland backcourt a defensive component it desperately needs.
Bleacher Report: Jerome Robinson
Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report looks at Boston College guard Jerome Robinson for Portland given both of his names have Blazers lore attached to them:
Robinson just signed with an agent and stands out as a potential riser heading into the NBA combine. A 6’7” scorer who averaged 20.7 points as a junior on 53.3 percent shooting inside the arc and 40.9 percent from three, he figures to stand out during scrimmages, drills, measurements, athletic testing and interviews in Chicago.
CBS Sports: Chandler Hutchinson
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports sends Boise State forward to Portland because he reads this blog and knows how many fans want this to happen:
Hutchison had the best season of his four-year college career while establishing himself as a first-round talent this season. The 6-7 Mountain West Conference star has all the tools necessary to be a quality NBA wing. He averaged 20.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 31 minutes for a Boise State team that won 23 times.
Sports Illustrated: Bruce Brown
Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated likes Miami guard Bruce Brown for Portland because he, too, could provide defense at the guard spot:
A bigger, defensive-minded guard like Brown makes sense for the Blazers, who have very little cap wiggle as constituted and have to figure out how to maximize what they have. Brown is a combo who should be able to make some level of NBA impact despite a poor season at Miami. He’s a tough player who could evolve into a useful rotation piece if his three-point shooting can improve. He’ll turn 22 before the season, but his physical maturity could make him playable early on.
Stay tuned to Blazer’s Edge for our in-depth draft profiles and all-around draft coverage ahead of June 21. You can also read up on things to know about the NBA Draft Combine, which starts Wednesday and continues through Sunday.