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Arvydas Sabonis, Terry Porter Among Best No. 24 Picks in NBA Draft History

Portland selects No. 24 in the 2018 NBA Draft; we look back at the best picks in that slot over the years.

Sabonis defended by Foyle

The Portland Trail Blazers will select No. 24 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. Barring a move before June 21—which appears to be on the table according to President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey—the Blazers won’t be looking at cream-of-the-crop prospects. Instead they’ll dig for diamonds in the rough, the proverbial “steal”.

Though the odds of finding a game-changer at 24 are slim, it’s not impossible. Several top-notch No. 24 overall picks from NBA draft history, including a couple in Portland, show there’s quality to be had.

Mike Newlin

Year drafted: 1971
Drafted by: Houston Rockets
Career averages: 14.9 points, four assists, three rebounds

Two notes: Newlin was born in Portland, Oregon; he was drafted in the second round, but there were only 17 picks per round in 1971, so he was still the No. 24 overall pick.

Terry Porter

Year drafted: 1985
Drafted by: Portland Trail Blazers
Career averages: 12.2 points, 5.6 assists, three rebounds
Career accolades: 2x All-Star (1991, 1993)

Porter worked his way from small University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to a 17-year NBA career with gritty defense and an ability to control the floor. He’s the Blazers’ all-time leader in assists (5,319), second in steals (1,182), and third in points (11,330).

Arvydas Sabonis

Year drafted: 1986
Drafted by: Portland Trail Blazers
Career averages: 12 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists
Career accolades: Inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player (2011)

Sabonis was originally drafted with the No. 77 overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, but the pick was voided due to an age stipulation. Eventually, he played six seasons with Portland — starting when he was 31 — and retired during the 2001-02 season before coming back for one final season with the Blazers a year later. Sabonis remains a legend in Blazers lore.

Latrell Sprewell

Year drafted: 1992
Drafted by: Golden State Warriors
Career averages: 18.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, four assists
Career accolades: 4x All-Star (1994, 1995, 1997, 2001); All-NBA First Team (1994); NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1994)

Sprewell had All-NBA talent, but he also proved to have a very complicated personal and NBA life.

Sam Cassell

Year drafted: 1993
Drafted by: Houston Rockets
Career averages: 15.7 points, six assists, 3.2 rebounds
Career accolades: 3x NBA champion (1994, 1995, 2008); 1x All-Star (2004); All-NBA Second Team (2004)

Cassell won two rings in his first two years in the league with Houston. He also finished his career riding into the sunset with a ring after the Celtics beat the Lakers in 2008. Besides being a champion, he’s known for his infamous and somewhat controversial “Big Balls” celebration.

Derek Fisher

Year drafted: 1996
Drafted by: Los Angeles Lakers
Career averages: 8.3 points, three assists, 2.1 rebounds
Career accolades: 5x NBA champion (2000, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010)

Fisher sees Cassell’s three rings and raises him to five after running point alongside Kobe Bryant and players like Shaquille O’Neal and Pau Gasol.

More Recent No. 24 Selections

Kyle Lowry (2006)
Serge Ibaka (2008)
Reggie Jackson (2011)
Tim Hardaway Jr. (2013)
Shabazz Napier (2014)

What are your expectations for quality at No. 24? Also, if you could pick any of the 11 players above who were drafted in that position historically and slot them into Portland’s lineup, which one would you choose?