The Trail Blazers memorable postseason run has ended and now NBA Draft preparations are hitting full speed. During Tuesday’s exit interviews, President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey revealed that he is hitting the road immediately to attend workouts scattered across the country. Armed with the No. 25 pick and limited salary cap flexibility, the Blazers will once again look to thread the needle on draft night.
Prior to the 2019 NBA Draft on June 20, our staff will deliver a comprehensive list of prospect profiles. Before we roll those out, here is the thought process that drives our decisions for prospect-based coverage.
Draft Depth & Expectations
In a perfect world, the Blazers would have a ready-made wing player fall into their lap late in the first round. Unfortunately, players that fit that bill rarely escape the lottery. Even with that said, Portland has shown that they can unearth talent outside of the early stages of the first round.
The 2019 class is defined by Zion Williamson’s transcendent potential. After Zion, there is a noticeable drop-off that leads to a tier headlined by Murray State’s Ja Morant and Duke’s RJ Barrett. Despite the top-heavy nature of this class, the Blazers will have a plethora of experienced wing players to choose from late in the first round.
Whether the Blazers’ incoming rookie can immediately make a dent in the rotation is another question entirely. Regardless of immediate expectations, it is imperative that Portland cultivates young talent on controlled contracts for future minutes and trade capital.
Additional Picks & Movement
According to Olshey, the Blazers will work with a smaller-than-normal pool of prospects this summer. Regardless of the comments made during exit interviews, Portland has shown a willingness to move up in the first round and sneak back into the second round. The primary focus of our profiles revolves around pick No. 25, but we will also cover prospects that range from the lottery to the second round.
Coverage vs. Endorsements
Like previous years, our profiles will introduce a handful of key items about a player. Our team is committed to reviewing film and using statistics from reliable sources. Since we are primarily focused on covering the Blazers, each profile will discuss that prospect’s potential fit. Please, for your own sanity, don’t mistake that discussion as an endorsement.
Most of all, our coverage revolves around the discussion our community generates. What player profiles are you looking forward to the most? Tell us in the comments below.