The Portland Trail Blazers are nearly two weeks away from learning where they will be placed in the 2023 NBA Draft order.
In a perfect world, the Blazers would pick No. 1 and take French phenom Victor Wembanyama and change the franchise’s fortunes. Instead of having pressure to trade Damian Lillard, Portland would have an opportunity to elevate the team’s floor and ceiling.
Bleacher Report analyzes the potential impact of the Blazers drafting Wembanyama.
Damian Lillard’s loyalty seems to know no bounds, but maybe we wouldn’t have to keep questioning its limits if the Portland Trail Blazers could give him the supporting cast necessary to chase a championship in the only jersey he’s ever worn.
That’s a lot to ask of a teenager, but if Wembanyama really is the generational prospect most believe him to be, he could quiet the annoyingly persistent speculation about Lillard becoming the next superstar to request a trade.
His presence could restore Lillard’s faith in the franchise’s short and long-term future (and the latter matters because Dame is under contract through 2027) while also addressing many of the reasons Portland has failed to contend for several seasons.
Ultimately, Wembanyama would be the best sidekick Lillard has ever had in Portland. And eventually, Portland will be able to pass the torch to Wembanyama, allowing Lillard to switch roles and become the sidekick as the potential No. 1 overall pick enters his prime while Dame begins the twilight of his career in a few years down the line.