The Trail Blazers first-round exit against the Lakers has now shifted Portland’s attention to the offseason. Heading into the 2020 NBA Draft, an event that is scheduled to occur in the middle of October, the Blazers have two draft picks in their arsenal. In The Athletic’s latest mock draft, Sam Vecenie has the Blazers acquiring two interesting prospects.
In the first round, Vecenie has the Blazers selecting Memphis big man Precious Achiuwa at pick No. 16. Achiuwa, who played at both post positions last season due to James Wiseman’s early departure, averaged 15.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game as a freshman. Thanks to his high ceiling as a versatile athlete, Vecenie explained that he is a logical fit for Portland.
Same pick as before. The Blazers will always take the guy they think has the most upside. They have a need in the frontcourt in terms of athleticism and defensive prowess. Achiuwa fits both of those bills. I will note, though, that Achiuwa is all over the board for teams that I talk to. Some worry about his offensive fit and think he’s just a pure 5 at the next level. Others see him as someone they can mold into being an option at the 4.
If 6-foot-9 position-less post player doesn’t get you excited, Vecenie’s prediction for the Blazers’ second-round pick might pique your interest. At pick No. 46, The Athletic’s mock draft has small-school darling Grant Riller headed to Portland. Riller, a four-year starter at point guard for the College of Charleston, averaged 21.9 points and 3.9 assists per game as a senior.
You can check out Vecenie’s latest mock draft at The Athletic (subscription required).