Portland Trail Blazers rumors link the team to several intriguing 2017 NBA Draft prospects. The Blazers have worked out or shown a lot of interest in a number of players over the past week, including Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe, Oklahoma State point guard Jawun Evans, and Duke forward Harry Giles. Briscoe is an interesting inclusion because as a report by CBS Sports recently noted, he is not likely to be a first-round selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. In fact, he doesn’t show up in a lot of the latest NBA mock drafts that cover the two rounds of selections.
Isaiah Briscoe is one of four players out of Kentucky who has declared himself for the 2017 NBA Draft. Briscoe joins point guard De’Aaron Fox, shooting guard Malik Monk, and big man Bam Adebayo among this draft class. The other three Kentucky products are expected to be selected early in the first round, possibly before any of the three picks for the Portland Trail Blazers. If Monk or Fox were to somehow slip to the Blazers at No. 15, the team would have to take them, despite already having a lot of depth at the guard positions. That is a very unlikely scenario though.
Playing in more than 30 minutes per game for Kentucky during the 2016-17 season, Briscoe averaged 12.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. It was his sophomore season for the Kentucky Wildcats and he felt that it was a good enough showing to propel him to the next level. Now Briscoe and his agent are working out with a lot of teams and that list already includes the Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors, and Houston Rockets. He will add the Chicago Bulls, L.A. Lakers, and Detroit Pistons to that list very soon.
Harry Giles in Sac today. Very positvie kid. First workout. Portland next. pic.twitter.com/TjexmD3n1H
— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) June 6, 2017
Who Are Jawun Evans And Harry Giles And Why Are They In Portland Trail Blazers Rumors?
In a new 2017 NBA mock draft posted by CBS Sports, the Utah Jazz select Oklahoma State point guard Jawun Evans with the No. 30 overall selection. The allure for Evans is that he is very good in pick-and-roll situations and he could be a huge asset off the bench for a number of teams. If the Blazers address size with their first two selections of the draft, then the team could then add depth by selecting Evans with the No. 26 overall selection. CBS Sports has the team targeting French power forward Jonathan Jeanne with that selection.
Harry Giles is a very interesting name that keeps coming up in Portland Trail Blazers rumors, as he could add a lot of size to the front line. The power forward and center played one season for Duke before declaring himself eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft, meaning he could also be a “project” for the team selecting him early on. Giles reportedly continues to look good in workouts with teams, suggesting that his stock could be climbing as the 2017 NBA Draft approaches. If the Blazers can get him at No. 20, it could possibly be a very good fit for the roster.
By working out Jawun Evans, Harry Giles, and Isaiah Briscoe, the Blazers are certainly showing that these are players they might be targeting during the 2017 NBA Draft. It could all come down to the scouting reports made during those workouts, though, and whether there are players they feel project to be better who are still on the draft board when the Blazers are on the clock.
TJ Leaf talking about how much he would enjoy playing with both Lillard and McCollum & also being able to stretch the floor behind Nurkic. pic.twitter.com/5HteJApYGI
— Jamie Hudson (@JamieHudsonCSN) June 7, 2017
Additional Portland Trail Blazers Rumors And Potential 2017 NBA Draft Picks
Another primary player getting mentioned in Portland Trail Blazers rumors and in Blazers mock drafts is UCLA power forward TJ Leaf. Leaf has been compared to All-Star power forward Kevin Love, as he brings size and can really help spread the floor for an offense. In addition to averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds during his one season at UCLA, Leaf also shot 46.6 percent from three-point range. That could be a huge weapon for Damian Lillard to work with, especially if he can run the floor as well as Love has been able to do with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In another recent NBA mock draft, Leaf is projected to go to the Denver Nuggets with the No. 13 pick, the Miami Heat take Harry Giles at No. 14, and the Blazers then take Creighton center Justin Patton with their pick. This is something that could certainly shift when the 2017 NBA Draft takes place, but it shows that teams other than the Blazers may be taking a long look at TJ Leaf and Harry Giles.
Would the Portland Trail Blazers Trade Draft Picks?
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are trying to convince the Portland Trail Blazers to trade first-round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Blazers have three picks and had been in negotiations with several teams about them. There has been no movement on that front, yet, but it suggests that Blazers general manager Neil Olshey could be open to a deal. In that regard, there would be fresh Portland Trail Blazers trade rumors as the June 22 NBA Draft quickly approaches.
[Featured Image by Al Bello/Getty Images]