The Trail Blazers’ 2019-20 season is firmly in the rearview mirror and 2020 NBA Draft is now on the horizon. As of now, the draft is scheduled for November 18. Unlike last year, the Blazers enter the process with two picks at their disposal. Portland currently owns the No. 16 pick in the first round and the No. 46 pick in the second round.
Today’s profile focuses on Gonzaga big man Killian Tillie. The 22-year-old forward could be on the board when the Blazers make their second selection.
- Height: 6’10”
- Weight: 220
- Wingspan: 6’11”
- Shoots: Right
- Position: Power forward
- Age: 22
- Projected Draft Range: 38-55
- PTS: 13.6 | Per 40: 22.1
- AST: 1.9 | Per 40: 3.0
- STL: 1.0 | Per 40: 1.6
- FG%: 54%
- 3P%: 40%
- FT%: 73%
Tillie possesses both an inside and outside game as he is highly efficient near the basket and on the perimeter. Inside, he is very skilled near the rim, especially as an off-ball rim runner. He displays excellent passing skills, high intelligence, and creativity, which is mirrored by his ability to read the other team’s offense and anticipate an opponent’s passes. Defending in isolation, he shines, only allowing 0.30 points per isolation possession. Tillie thrives in a pick-and-pop offense as a floor-spacing big man.
Tillie lacks length on the inside, which hurts him on defense and limits his ability to protect the rim. He isn’t as agile as other players on defense and slow to pick up switches around the floor due to a lack of mobility. Unsurprising for a big man, he does not have a strong handle, so don’t expect him to hang on to the ball for long. Furthermore, his college career was marred by injuries, including a knee injury, an ankle stress fracture, and a plantar fascia ligament tear.
Tillie missed most of his senior season because of his injuries. He missed the start of the season while recovering from a preventative knee procedure, and left a game in late January due to an ankle sprain. Even so, he earned First-Team All-WCC after averaging 13.6 points and five rebounds per game over the season.
Tillie is a hard player to get an overall read on, given that he only played 37 percent of the minutes he potentially had at Gonzaga due to injuries, missing large chunks of his junior and senior seasons. However, his high efficiency on the perimeter makes him exceptionally appealing as developmental three-point specialist.
Might Neil Olshey have a penchant for big men from Gonzaga? In 2015, Tillie played in the FIBA 3x3 Under-18 World Championships, representing France. The French squad bested the USA team, featuring future Blazers big Zach Collins, on its way to 3rd place. They played alongside each other at Gonzaga, including in the 2017 NCAA Championship Game, in which Tillie had nine rebounds and one point. Given how Collins has fit into the Blazers culture after only a year with Coach Mark Few, it stands to reason that Tillie will fit in fine on that front. As a player, though, it remains to be seen whether the Blazers need another big man. Portland’s track record with injury-riddled bigs is not great.