The Portland Trail Blazers have 3 draft picks in the upcoming 2017 NBA draft. This is key because the Blazers could sign 3 rookies in this stacked draft. Now that does not mean that they have to. They can always trade their picks for better assets. According to OregonLive.com, the Blazers are willing to trade 1 or more of their first rounders to shed cap space or pickup veteran players. They have the 15, 20, and 26th pick in the 2017 Draft. Let’s look at all their options first before talking trades.
The top prospects available for the Blazers are OG Anunoby, Dwayne Bacon, Bam Adebayo, or TJ Leaf. All of these prospects are bigs except for Bacon. The Blazers are in desperate need of a 4 that can play alongside Nurkic, which is where OG or TJ come into play, while Bam would be a better backup center for the Blazers. Bacon is possibly a replacement for Allen Crabbe, which I believe the Blazers will move this offseason, along with Meyers Leonard.
Weight: 215 lbs
- OG Anunoby has shown signs that he is the best defensive player in this draft. He has the lateral quickness of a guard while being the size of a NBA power forward. Scouts all believe he is physically ready for the NBA. He also has a lot of potential to grow into a stretch four.
Weight: 221 lbs
- Dwayne Bacon is a very capable pick. If the Blazers were to pick him, he would fit well as a sixth man.. He is a nice size for a wing and looks as if he can become a solid defender. He is very good at finishing a drive through contact and very capable of being a big threat on offense.
- Bam is a very defensive minded big. He has proven himself as a solid wing protector and is efficient at scoring at the basket. If we were trying to add depth I would say this is the best pick to add defense to our bench. If I were to compare him to someone in the league right now I would compare him to Dwight Howard because of his size, build, and athleticism
Weight: 220 lbs
- TJ Leaf is the Blazers best choice if they want offense at the 4 spot. He has the most skill of any power forward in this draft using post moves and footwork to score tirelessly. A downside to him is his athleticism, he is sort of slow and cannot make quick cuts to the basket, but he is the ideal stretch 4 to play alongside Nurkic.
Now two major trade options
There has also been discussion of trade talks between the Knicks and the Blazers. The Knicks want Melo gone and Portland is ideal because of that hole in the SF position. Melo could bring leadership and help grow Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum into unstoppable forces on offense. This trade will also give them a chance to
dump some contracts of players such as Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard, or maybe even Maurice Harkless.
There is also Paul George. He can play the SF position as well and is better than Carmelo. He has shown signs of wanting out in Indiana, so the Pacers might be willing to listen. A trade featuring guys like Crabbe, Leonard, Harkless, Turner, Ezeli and others could happen. Indiana will be looking to build towards the future and could try and take all the Blazers picks and some major assets. This is very intriguing as it could leave the Blazers with a lineup of Lillard, CJ, George, Aminu and Nurkic! That is a scary thought because if that team could get the right role player, they can become contenders!
By: Brandon Goss & Top Ball Coverage