The Portland Trail Blazers have had a disappointing season, plagued by injuries and inconsistency. They currently have the fifth-worst record in the NBA, with only 24 wins and 54 losses.
However, there is a silver lining to their dismal performance: they have a good chance of landing a high pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
The Trail Blazers own their own first-round pick, as well as the New York Knicks’ pick, which they acquired in a trade involving Josh Hart last year. The Knicks’ pick is lottery-protected, meaning that if it falls within the top 14 picks, they get to keep it.
However, the Knicks have already clinched a playoff spot, thanks to their surprising turnaround under coach Tom Thibodeau. That means that the Trail Blazers will receive their pick, which is currently projected to be the 19th overall.
The Trail Blazers’ own pick, on the other hand, could be much higher. According to Tankathon.com, they have a 10.5% chance of getting the No. 1 pick, a 10.5% chance of getting the No. 2 pick, a 10.6% chance of getting the No. 3 pick, a 10.7% chance of getting the No. 4 pick and a 2.2% chance of getting the No. 5 pick. That adds up to a 44.5% chance of landing a top-four pick, which would give them access to some of the most coveted prospects in this year’s draft class.
Some of the names that have been linked to the Trail Blazers in mock drafts include Paolo Banchero, a versatile forward from Duke; Chet Holmgren, a skilled and shot-blocking center from Gonzaga; Jaden Hardy, a prolific scorer from the G League Ignite; and Jabari Smith Jr., a smooth-shooting big man from Auburn.
Any of these players could potentially be franchise-changers for the Trail Blazers, who are in need of an infusion of young talent.
Of course, there is no guarantee that the Trail Blazers will get lucky in the lottery. They could also end up with the sixth pick or lower, which would still give them some options, but not as many as they would have in the top four.
They could also decide to trade their picks for an established star or a package of assets that could help them rebuild or retool around Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Whatever happens, the Trail Blazers have something to look forward to in June, when the NBA Draft Lottery will take place. Their odds of landing a high pick are strong, and they could use it to change their fortunes for years to come.
Final Thoughts: Trail Blazers Lottery Odds Look Strong
The Portland Trail Blazers have had a tough season, with injuries and inconsistency taking a toll on their performance. However, the silver lining in this disappointing season is the chance to land a high pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
With two first-round picks, the Trail Blazers have a good chance of securing a top pick, which could potentially be a franchise-changer for the team.
While their own pick is projected to be much higher, they also have the New York Knicks’ pick, which is likely to fall outside the top 14, thereby guaranteeing them another first-round selection.
The possibility of landing a top-four pick is an exciting prospect for the Trail Blazers, as it would give them access to some of the most talented prospects in this year’s draft class.
The Trail Blazers’ current roster has been criticized for its lack of depth and youthful talent, making the acquisition of young and promising players crucial for the team’s long-term success.
With names like Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, Jaden Hardy, and Jabari Smith Jr. being linked to the team in mock drafts, the Trail Blazers have a wealth of options to choose from.
However, there is no guarantee that the Trail Blazers will get lucky in the lottery, and they may end up with a lower pick. Nevertheless, they could still use their picks to make a significant impact on their rebuilding efforts.
They could choose to trade their picks for established players or assets that could help them improve around their star duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
In conclusion, the Trail Blazers have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming NBA Draft. Their lottery odds are strong, and they have the opportunity to secure young and promising talent that could potentially change their fortunes for years to come.
Whether they keep their picks or trade them, the Trail Blazers have options that could help them build a competitive team in the future.