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Blazers Should Target Defense on Draft Night

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The Trail Blazers do not have a pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, but CBS Sports contributor Colin Ward-Henninger suggests that they should aim for a defense-first player if they re-enter the process.

Iona v Alabama Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Trail Blazers are headed towards Thursday’s NBA Draft without a pick under their belt. But that doesn’t mean that Portland will sit on sidelines for the entire night. Prior to the arrival of the 2021 NBA Draft, CBS Sports contributor Colin Ward-Henninger detailed the type of player that the Blazers could target if they jump back into the second round.

Another team whose needs could drastically change depending on whether they make a trade, the Blazers have no draft picks — which would almost certainly change if they move Damian Lillard before the draft. If Lillard stays and they end up trading into the draft, they’ll need to do everything they can to improve on the league’s second-worst defense.

Ward-Henninger went on to list Alabama’s Herb Jones, Auburn’s JT Thor and Michigan State’s Aaron Henry as potential fits for the Trail Blazers.

Jones, who secured SEC Player of the Year and SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors last season, was featured in our draft profile series. In that assessment, Jones’ defense earned high marks.

Defensively, Jones has an established track record of guarding multiple positions. Last season, he routinely picked up the toughest defensive assignment. Along with cumbersome matchups, Jones spent time at all five positions. Outside of one-on-one matchups, he impacted the action on defense with his well-timed blocks as a sliding help defender.

Henry will be featured inside our draft profile series prior to Thursday.

You can read the full story from Ward-Henninger at CBS Sports.