We are less than 24 hours away from finding out what the Portland Trail Blazers do with the No. 24 overall pick in the NBA Draft. There’s been much buildup to the draft, but the hopes (or fears) of fans will soon be fulfilled. We’ve rounded up who experts think the Blazers will select for weeks, so let’s give it one more go around before Thursday’s draft.
Mike Schmitz, ESPN: Josh Okogie (SG, Georgia Tech)
It’s not easy to find 19-year-old guard/wings with size, length, plus athleticism, the ability and willingness to defend at least three positions and the potential to make a standstill 3. Okogie ticks all of those boxes and is tremendous value as a late first-round selection. When thrust into more of a 3-and-D-style, complementary role, Okogie should thrive.
Tommy Beer, Forbes: Khyri Thomas (G, Creighton)
At 22, Thomas is a proven commodity and should be ready to contribute immediately. He can knock down shots from distance (he shot over 41% from 3-point territory in 2017-18) and is a tenacious perimeter defender.
David Aldridge, NBA.com: Donte DiVincenzo (G, Villanova)
The junior guard wasn’t on anyone’s radar as a potential first-rounder two months ago. The idea was DiVincenzo would play his role as an energy guy off Villanova’s bench behind the Wildcats’ more experienced players, then take a star turn next season with most of them gone that would give him a chance to shine. Instead, the guy my dude Gus Johnson gave the great nickname “The Big Ragu” (you have to be my age to get it) exploded in the national championship game against Michigan, setting an NCAA record for most points coming off the bench in a title game (31) and winning Most Outstanding Player honors. He followed that up by finishing first at the Combine in both standing and max vertical jumps—and after that, there was no turning back. DiVincenzo’s crazy hops and swag will make him a fan favorite wherever he goes, and if he goes to the Blazers he’ll fit right in playing behind Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated: Josh Okogie
Portland could use a defensive-minded perimeter player who can help space the floor, and Okogie fits that bill as someone the cap-starved Blazers can roster immediately and hope to get some level of contributions from as a rookie. He brings elite athleticism, defensive matchup versatility and streaky three-point shooting. As a young sophomore who’s still tapping into his talent, Okogie is an intriguing prospect who could easily become a useful two-way wing with better shot selection and polish.
Sam Vecenie, The Athletic (subscription required): Dzanan Musa (F, Cedevita)
The Blazers have a lot of long, athletic wings who play as combo forwards because of their size and lack of offensive skill set. The 6-9 Musa, on the other hand, has a ton of offensive skills and could help create for a team that needs an offensive pick-me-up when C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard are on the bench. Defensively, there are concerns, but Terry Stotts has shown the ability to build a defense around guys with questionable tools. Musa wants to come over next season, meaning he is not a draft-and-stash-type player.
Brad Rowland, UPROXX: Khyri Thomas
Portland is in a weird place but Thomas would help them as currently constructed. He doesn’t need the ball, will defend at a high level (with a 6’10 wingspan) and can make threes with efficiency. For a team that could use a third guard, that feels right.
Check out our own mock draft here at Blazer’s Edge that selects Cincinnati’s Jacob Evans to Portland with analysis of the pick by Steve Dewald and Brian Freeman.
The NBA Draft is Thursday, June 21 at 4 p.m. PT.