The latest mock draft from CBS Sports hit on a common theme tied to the Trail Blazers: a forward prospect. But this projection broke from the typical lineup of often-discussed options and featured a new face. In Thursday’s mock draft, CBS Sports contributor Colin Ward-Henninger explained that TCU forward Desmond Bane is a player worthy of Portland’s attention.
Citing the Blazers’ suspect depth at the forward position, Ward-Henninger detailed how Bane addresses a clear need in coach Terry Stotts’ rotation.
The Trail Blazers played much of last season without a player you could truly call a small forward, and Bane would immediately fill that vacancy. He can space the floor for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum as an elite 3-point shooter, and he should be able to hold his own defensively as a rookie given his size and strength.
While Bane is certainly gaining steam in the pre-draft process, it is important to note that there was a run on small forwards in picks preceding the Blazers’ selection. Devin Vassell, Saddiq Bey, Patrick Williams and Aaron Nesmith were all selected between pick No. 10 and No. 15 in the projection from CBS Sports.
In October, Blazer’s Edge contributor Kyle Garcia delivered an in-depth profile on Bane’s NBA upside. In that profile, Garcia is revealed that he is bullish on Bane’s potential as a rotation player.
Desmond Bane projects to fit neatly into this league as a rotation player. He can hit a wide variety of shots both off the ball and with the ball in his hands. He is a plus-player on both ends of the floor. He’s the type of wing that just about every team in this league would love to have, as shooting wings who rarely make the wrong play are always in high demand. He’ll always be somewhat limited by his athletic and physical deficiencies, but he can make up for those limitations with his actual basketball skills.
You can check out the full mock draft from Ward-Henninger at CBS Sports.