Portland Trail Blazers mock drafts currently have the team targeting big men with three first-round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Blazers are guard heavy with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum controlling the offense, so it makes sense for the team to target size in the upcoming draft. A report by NBA.com presented a full first-round mock draft, introducing Blazers fans to three big men who could soon be playing basketball in Portland. These new names are certainly generating a lot of conversation on social media among fans.
In this first Blazers mock draft, the team was projected to take Wake Forest power forward John Collins at No. 15, Creighton center Justin Patton at No. 20, and Kentucky center Bam Adebayo at No. 26. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, in addition to their own first-round selection, the Blazers also own the first-round selections of the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers. This is because of past trades that took place during the 2016-17 NBA season. It should give the Blazers a chance to improve the roster in the short-term.
With three first-round selections, the Blazers definitely have the tools to add some good depth to the roster. With very little money to spend in free agency and salaries that will push the franchise into the luxury tax penalties, the Blazers are going to have to select well with the three draft picks to improve the team during the NBA offseason. It puts some added pressure on the front office, but this is also rumored to be one of the deepest drafts in recent years. Could the team instead package those picks for a significant player like Jimmy Butler or Paul George?
— HoopsHabit (@HoopsHabit) May 18, 2017
Another full NBA mock draft was done by the basketball analysts at CBS Sports, with each of them predicting the three first-round picks of the Portland Trail Blazers. Reid Forgrave has the Blazers selecting Indiana small forward OG Anunoby, Duke power forward Harry Giles, and California power forward Ivan Rabb. Gary Parrish predicts the Blazers will take UCLA power forward TJ Leaf, Duke power forward Harry Giles, and UCLA power forward Ike Anigbogu. These picks would all give the Blazers a lot of size and rebounding ability in the low post.
Another Portland Trail Blazers mock draft was done by Sports Illustrated, with NBA analyst Andrew Sharp writing up a report. Sharp predicts that the Blazers will select UCLA big man Ike Anigbogu, Duke forward Luke Kennard, and California forward Ivan Rabb. Those are some familiar selections, as most of them also appear on other NBA mock drafts carried about by college basketball experts. Kennard is a new name to the list of possibilities, with Sports Illustrated stating that he is a player who could be inserted into the lineup and make an immediate impact.
FOX Sports also put together a 2017 NBA mock draft, with several different players getting the nod by the Blazers. An interesting prediction by FOX Sports is that the Blazers will target North Carolina small forward Justin Jackson with the No. 15 overall selection. His performance in the Final Four has seen Jackson move up the draft board, but does he have the size that the Blazers need? With the other two picks, FOX Sports has the Blazers targeting UCLA forward T.J. Leaf and Barcelona forward Rodions Kurucs.
10 years ago today was the 2007 draft lottery. Wild night for Blazers & Sonics moving up to picks 1 & 2. Depressing for Grizzlies & Celtics. pic.twitter.com/2VBtcT5oBg
— Kevin O’Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) May 22, 2017
Almost none of the latest Blazers mock drafts have the team targeting the same players, suggesting that these experts are making educated guesses rather than using inside information to make the predictions. It’s not a secret that the Blazers need to improve at the power forward and center positions, but it isn’t known who the front office might be targeting with those three first-round draft picks. With several weeks left until the 2017 NBA Draft takes place, fans should expect more rumors to surface about who the Portland Trail Blazers might target.
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