Even though the Portland Trail Blazers are in win-now mode, there are still several players who are on the roster that phase into the team’s long term plans.
Bleacher Report named each team’s three top prospects and here’s what the site had to say about the Blazers on the rise.
The No. 7 overall pick in the draft, Sharpe saw just five minutes of Summer League action before suffering a small labral tear in his left shoulder, one he thankfully didn’t need surgery for.
Sharpe is easily the most intriguing player in the draft after going to Kentucky but ultimately choosing to sit the season out. He’s a big shooting guard at 6’6” who could help take this Portland team from the play-in tournament to a top-six seed in the West if he has a dazzling rookie season.
Little averaged 11.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and shot 34.4 percent in 23 starts last season, but he will likely return to a reserve role behind Jerami Grant. He’s a versatile defender who the Blazers desperately need, however.
The 21st overall pick in 2021, Johnson is in danger of getting buried in a guard rotation that now features Damian Lillard, Sharpe, Anfernee Simons, Gary Payton II and Josh Hart. He’s extremely athletic and showed some playmaking ability last season, but he shot just 36.4 percent from inside the arc.
There are others who fit the bill of being a prospect (second-round pick Jabari Walker comes to mind), but each team always needs to have some thought into the future in order to be a strong organization. The Blazers are now in a perfect mix of looking towards winning next season and beyond.