Despite a lot of trade interest in the No. 3 pick on both sides, the Blazers opted to run the course, keep the pick and select G League Ignite point guard Scoot Henderson.
Among the stars potentially available in exchange for the No. 3 pick were Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Paul George. But according to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Blazers were “not eager” in trading for him.
Since winning the third overall pick in Thursday night’s draft via the league’s annual draft lottery in mid-May, it was widely believed that Portland was in the market for a proven star on the same career timeline as face of the franchise Damian Lillard. League sources say that the Blazers, though, were not eager to trade for George given the 33-year-old’s recent injury woes — George has averaged just 47 games over the past three seasons — as well as his ability to become a free agent after next season if he declines his $48.8 million player option.
The Blazers ultimately resisted all trade interest in the No. 3 pick and drafted Scoot Henderson. Portland GM Joe Cronin insisted at a news conference Friday that team believes Henderson and Lillard can play together.
The widely hoped-for trade push from Lillard, now that the Blazers have drafted the 19-year-old Henderson rather than trading for an established star, has yet to materialize … with no sign of it in sight yet.
Now that the Blazers have the very eager Henderson, it’s easy to envision a future with him. Cronin’s dissertation that the two can play together remains to be seen, but a trade still isn’t completely out of the question.
That being said, with Henderson in the fold, it may be even harder to part ways with arguably the best draft pick the franchise has had since Lillard back in 2012.