With less than a week away from the NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers must decide what to do with their coveted No. 3 pick soon — whether that means using it to select a young prospect or trading it for veteran star power.
According to multiple media reports, the franchise is still actively shopping the draft pick on the trade market.
One of those reports came from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. On his latest podcast, Windhorst put extra emphasis on Portland’s recent activity in trade talks.
“And then you got Portland who is actively trying to trade the No. 3 pick to support Dame Lillard — and I mean actively.”
Although Windhorst said he suspected Portland would ultimately keep the pick, he added this later:
“Portland is trying some pretty aggressive moves from what I’ve been able to glean. I have no idea how accurate everything is, but they are swinging. ...[A rebuild] is not the direction they’re going at all. That is not the intel I am having at all. If that’s being considered, it’s not being discussed outside the family.”
Windhorst’s intel is consistent with that of NBA correspondent Marc Stein. In his latest report on Substack [subscription required], Stein said Portland is still willing to put together a trade package around the No. 3 pick.
The Trail Blazers, league sources say, continue to intimate that they are prepared to package Anfernee Simons with the No. 3 overall pick in a trade to acquire win-now talent to place alongside star guard Damian Lillard. Teams interested in trading for Lillard, meanwhile, continue to root for Portland’s inability to find a suitable win-now trade in the hope that it finally prompts Lillard to seek his exit from the Pacific Northwest.
The Athletic’s John Hollinger had reported in May that speculation was widespread that Portland might use a package of the No. 3 pick and Simons to “snag an elite small forward.”
Only six more days remain until the draft when we all get to hear that familiar jingle announcing Portland’s pick is in, which means only six more days of speculation.