They could trade the pick and acquire more win-now talent or they could take one of the draft’s top prospects in Amen Thompson, Brandon Miller or Scoot Henderson.
CBS Sports’ David Cobb projects the Blazers to take Henderson.
Portland has nearly $300 million committed to 6-2 Damian Lillard and 6-3 Anfernee Simons over the next four seasons. On the surface, Henderson seems like a poor fit since he is a 6-2, ball-dominant guard. But if he’s available at No. 3, his upside warrants finding a way to make it work. The Trail Blazers patiently developed Simons as Lillard and CJ McCollum ran the show, and the dividends have been solid. They could do the same with Henderson or trade one of the other guards and throw him into a featured role out of the gate.
Taking Henderson would mirror the strategies the Blazers have had over the past few years, but this is Joe Cronin acting as general manager, not Neil Olshey. Cobb also suggests that the Blazers could trade the pick.
It’s not as if there is some polished player available here who can immediately help Portland get back to the Western Conference Finals while Lillard is still in his prime. A trade would also make sense.
The Blazers should listen to trade calls and see what’s out there, but they shouldn’t sell themselves short. Trading the No. 3 pick in the draft should warrant a significant package in return, and if the Blazers aren’t being offered that, they shouldn’t take the deal.
That being said, if Henderson is available at No. 3, there should be several teams interested in trading up to acquire him. The question is whether there is a package enticing enough for the Blazers to take for the price of the third pick.