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Trail Blazers Draft News: Meetings With Keegan, Mathurin

See profiles of two likely candidates for Portland’s 7th pick.

Houston v Arizona Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

With the Portland Trail Blazers holding the 7th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, news about their pre-draft meetings and workouts will come fast and furious between now and June 23rd. The festivities opened today when news broke about Portland meeting with University of Iowa forward Keegan Murray and Arizona wing Bennedict Mathurin. Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian tweeted about Mathurin’s meeting, already past, and Murray’s, to come on Friday.

Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin said he has met with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Iowa forward Keegan Murray said he will meet with the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. Most mock drafts have him gone by pick six. The Blazers have pick No. 7.

Fentress is only partially correct about Murray’s projected draft position. Mock drafts are split on the order of most prospects at the 5th-7th positions, with Shaedon Sharpe providing the third leg of the mystery triangle between the three.

Last month. Blazer’s Edge draft guru Steve Dewald posted an extensive profile on Murray, calling him a “dominant offensive force” and offering this assessment:

Murray is without a doubt a top level forward option with an outside game that should translate to the next level. If he adapts to the level of NBA competition, he has the footwork and instincts at the rim to blossom into dependable roll man. Defensively, he does enough to rise above the “liability” label. His discipline should improve with experience, but that will most likely lead to a decrease in steals and blocks.

Looking forward, Murray is one of the oldest prospects in the lottery discussion. He is only 14 months younger than upcoming Blazers restricted free agent Anfernee Simons. With that in mind, Murray’s upside looks better equipped to raise a team’s floor, not its ceiling.

Dewald also profiled Mathurin, praising his perimeter game and his bankable skill set:

Of the shooting guards projected to be selected in the lottery, Mathurin possesses the sturdiest floor. He has shown he is effective as a role player and a featured option. He connected on 41.8 percent of his three-pointers as a freshman. Mathurin could return to that level of efficiency if he receives more catch-and-shoot opportunities at the next level.

Mathurin’s current weaknesses are correctable with coaching. He has all the physical tools and instincts to make the jump to the NBA.

In other draft news, Trail Blazers coach Edniesha Curry is leading NBA Draft Combine teams as a coach, as shown in this tweet from Jonathan Givony.

We’ll update you with more draft news as it becomes available, today and throughout the season.