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NBA Mock Draft: Blazers Select Pair of Lottery Picks, Including Duke’s Kyle Filipowski

Duke big man Kyle Filipowski could be an option for the Portland Trail Blazers in this year’s draft.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers are due for a bounty of picks in this year’s NBA Draft.

Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman compiled a full two-round mock draft where the Blazers had the No. 5 overall pick amongst four selections. Here’s a look at who the team took:

No. 5 pick Matas Buzelis, G League Ignite

Despite Matas Buzelis’ underwhelming efforts at the G League Showcase, 6’8” size, fluid athleticism, shotmaking versatility and on-ball defensive flashes seem to be swaying scouts to remain patient.

He had an excellent stretch heading into Orlando, and he’s bounced back slightly since.

Making more jumpers would solve some of Buzelis’ issues, and high school scouting suggests his shooting percentages will rise. He does need to improve creating in tight spaces and handling contact, but at 19 years old, teams figure to covet his versatility and fit and bet on him strengthening his handle and body.

No. 12 pick (via Warriors) Kyle Filipowski, Duke

While it’s still difficult to pinpoint one signature strength or skill for Kyle Filipowski, he’s building a case around versatility rather than scoring potential.

He’s not the shooter or fluid mover that Lauri Markkanen is, but he does check boxes, even if he doesn’t dominate any. He’s become a tougher low-post player. Though his three-point numbers aren’t much different than last year’s, he’s still a spot-up or pick-and-pop threat. And he can initiate fast breaks with his open-floor handle.

Averaging 3.0 assists per game, Filipowski is showing that he can give teams a big who can impact games in a variety of ways.

No. 34 pick (via Hornets) Izan Almansa, G League Ignite

Izan Almansa is coming off a season-best 24 points that highlighted his soft hands and timing around the basket. There isn’t anything too exciting about his game, as he’s been used and effective mostly as a play-finisher.

Teams may put stock into previous FIBA flashes of face-up drives and threes, which suggest there could be hidden versatility in his game.

No. 39 pick (via Hawks) Baba Miller, Florida State

Despite Baba Miller’s enticing flashes and archetype, continuing to play a backseat role as a sophomore is making it difficult for scouts to picture an NBA contributor.

The wing’s skill set at 6’11” should keep interest alive. He handles in space, finishes well and demonstrates some defensive versatility with his size and mobility.

However, the lack of aggression, limited creation, low-volume shooting and 42.9 free-throw percentage for a second-year player will make it tough for a team to use a first-round pick in Miller.

BE community, what do you think of the above prospects? Chime off in the comments below.