The Portland Trail Blazers are headed for another NBA Draft pick in the low-to-mid 20s as they fight for home-court advantage in this year’s NBA Playoffs. Picking that low means teams have to be smart about filling out their roster, identifying positions of need or players that could be a steal. Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has offered several potential options for the Blazers come draft night.
Plan A is Rui Hachimura of Gonzaga, but Wasserman admits that he’ll likely be gone before Portland picks:
It’s unlikely Hachimura makes it into the 20s, but his name is worth jotting down on the Portland Trail Blazers’ whiteboard. He’d give Portland a tough scoring mismatch from the 4, a position the rotation generates little offense from.
Plan B is Chuma Okeke, who suffered a torn ACL in the NCAA Tournament. Wasserman likes him for his potential:
Assuming PJ Washington is gone, the Blazers could look at Okeke for frontcourt depth. He’ll likely sit out all of next season recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the NCAA tournament, but Portland likely isn’t finding an immediate contributor at No. 25, anyway. Okeke has emerged as an intriguing sleeper for his mix of shooting, defensive versatility and presence around the basket. Unless a team fell in love during his postseason run, there’s a good chance he’ll be on the board for Portland.
Plan C is Mfiondu Kabengele of Florida State, who touts shooting as his strength:
Flashes of three-point shooting and tough shot-making out of the post have created late-season intrigue regarding Kabengele. With only 21.6 minutes per game at Florida State this past season, plus an NBA body and fluid jump shot, he’s a candidate to rise during workouts.
Plan D is Duke’s Tre Jones, known for his passing and toughness:
The Blazers could ignore Jones’ lack of upside and instead value his passing IQ and defensive toughness. Backing up Damian Lillard, he’d only have to play 10-15 minutes a game and focus on facilitating, pressuring ball-handlers and making enough open shots.
Do you like any of these prospects for Portland? Let us know in the comments.