The Portland Trail Blazers will work out Duke forward AJ Griffin this morning. The news comes courtesy of Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report, via Twitter. The Blazers own the 7th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. They’ve been working out a series of prospects over the last two weeks. The general time of this morning’s workout was known prior to this, but the subject of the workout wasn’t.
Griffin is a 6’6 wing, projected to play small forward in the NBA. The 18-year-old held a 49.3% field goal percentage, 44.7% from the three-point arc, accumulating a 10.4 ppg scoring average for the Blue Devils last season.
Draft guru Steve Dewald wrote a profile on Griffin earlier this year for Blazer’s Edge. He described Griffin as a “compact and powerful athlete” with the physical tools to guard multiple positions. He praised Griffin’s offensive skills highly:
Griffin boasts a shooting profile that is ideal for the modern NBA. He is an efficient shooter in both catch-and-shoot situations and pull-up opportunities...
...Along with his favorable mechanics, Griffin has an excellent understanding of space on the perimeter. He is constantly moving into position to make passes easier for his teammates. His movements routinely keep opposing defenses stretched thin.
Shot selection, off-ball defense, and a history of injuries comprised Griffin’s potential weaknesses.
Dewald said that Griffin should prove an intriguing option, pending further evaluation of injury potential:
Griffin’s three-point shooting at a position of need should pique the Blazers’ interest. Offensively, Griffin’s floor spacing and mistake-free style on the perimeter should translate to minutes early in his career. From a size standpoint, Griffin’s wingspan more than makes up for his height at the forward spots.
If the Blazers land close to where their lottery odds currently point, Griffin is a high-floor option. Even if he falls short of his ceiling, Griffin’s shooting will make him a valuable addition to multiple rotations for years to come. His medical history is noteworthy, but a closer look at that information in pre-draft evaluations should provide a clearer picture.
The NBA Draft will be held on June 23rd.