The Portland Trail Blazers trail only the Houston Rockets and Charlotte Hornets as the franchise that could use NBA Draft prospect Victor Wembanyama the most, according to Derek Parker of Fan Nation.
Parker said this about the Blazers’ roster situation and how Wembanyama could make a difference for the struggling team:
“Of course, they could always pair 32-year-old Damian Lillard with Wembanyama, but offloading the veteran superstar for prospects and picks, which is likely already being talked about at this point in their timeline, would accelerate the process,’ Parker said.”
The NBA Draft Lottery is eight days away, and the Blazers currently have the fifth-best odds at winning the No. 1 overall pick. Wembanyama has long been the incumbent top selection without sway.
As Parker pointed out, Portland could pair Wembanyama with Lillard, but should they fail to win the lottery, packaging Lillard with whatever pick they land to move up to No. 1 could usher in an unprecedented rebuild while also bringing in additional talent alongside the Frenchman.
Wembanyama would certainly remedy many of the Blazers’ glaring issues. Primarily, Portland has lacked a dynamic rim protector and defensive anchor in the middle. He has shown otherworldly ability to recover off of blow-by drives for chase down blocks and go up straight for legal contests. His eight-foot wingspan helps.
He also forecasts to be a major threat offensively with the skills to space the floor and create his own shot. Much of his offense comes off the dribble.
Ideally, keeping Lillard — who is fresh off of a career season — while bringing in Wembanyama would be the best bet for the Blazers to soon return to playoff contention.
One thing is for certain though — Wembanyama would offer Portland an archetypal player that they’ve never had before, and despite some question marks on his physique (which other phenoms such as Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett were not deterred by), brings a game that looks like it will translate to the professional ranks out of the gates.