“It’s A Great Day To Be A Blazer!” – Portland Trail Blazers End Up With #3 Pick In 2023 NBA Draft

Thanks, Brandon Roy!

I was clamoring as much as anyone for Victor Wembanyama, but the consolation prizes in this year’s NBA draft still warrant celebration.

From all that I’ve been able to gather, there sure seems to be a consensus regarding who will be taken in the immediate aftermath of Wembanyama, the surefire #1 overall pick.  (Well, would you look at that?  NBA.com went and did some of the gathering for me). Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller are expected to be drafted 2nd and 3rd, but not necessarily in this order.  So, cheer up, Blazer nation!

What’s particularly envious about the Portland Trail Blazers picking 3rd overall is it takes all of the guesswork out of the equation. The Charlotte Hornets will choose between Henderson and Miller, and whoever they don’t pick will fall right into the Blazers’ lap. So, the only thing we have to worry about then is Joe Cronin outthinking himself.

Under no circumstances should he trade the 3rd overall pick. However, Damian Lillard might put the screws on him. I can’t make this any more explicit!

The Portland Trail Blazers are an NBA small market team and thus are limited in the avenues they can take to acquire the elite of the elite. Free agency has been a mixed bag at best for the Blazers, and trades are complicated, to say the least.

Anyone, and do I mean anyone, would be hard-pressed to name even one true, without reputation, superstar the Blazers have signed as a free agent -or- traded for since Trader Bob almost wheeled & dealt the Blazers to the 2nd championship. And before Bob Whitsitt’s tenure as General Manager, the Blazers’ trade routes weren’t all that profitable either, also a mixed bag at best.

While I will concede there rarely are sure things in the NBA draft (with Wembanyama being as close as you can get), Scoot and Brandon (Miller) should be pretty damn good. If not for Wembanyama – a transformative player, provided he can stay healthy, Henderson and Miller would be competing with one another to be the #1 overall pick in most other drafts. They, too, have the potential to be that good, to be superstars.

But I don’t expect anyone to take my word for it.

For all things draft-related, Draft Express (which has been absorbed by ESPN) and NBAdraft.net have long been my go-tos. Draft Express via ESPN is always my first stop and should be yours, but I’ve also always really liked the format of the scouting reports on NBAdraft.net (Strengths, Weaknesses, Overall) and their player comps.

To get you excited, and for simplicities’ sake, I’ll stick mainly to NBAdraft.net’s players’ comparisons (comps). I especially like when they include floor and ceiling comps, but since I’m just drumming up excitement, I’ll shoot for the stars, I mean ceilings, or maybe I did mean stars, as in super. Clearly, I’m excited!

Scoot Henderson is former NBA MVP Derek Rose, and Brandon Miller is “former” perennial All-Star/All-NBA team member Paul George. George is a former “All & All” only because of his age (33), the tread on his tires after 12 seasons, and he just can’t seem to stay healthy. His talent and contributions, however, still aren’t in question, not really.

That said, I still don’t want anything to do with the pairing of Dame and George, not when the latter hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Beginning with the 2019-20 season, he hasn’t played more than 56 games in any one season and has averaged a mere 47 games over this period, his last four seasons.

I just had to get this out of the way.

But we’re celebrating, remember? So, let’s not focus on what the Blazers shouldn’t do (trade for Paul George) and zero in on what they should do (keep the 3rd overall pick & draft the Hornet’s leftovers: Scoot or Brandon).

Are you excited yet?

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About Jason Poulsen 11 Articles
As a former collegiate basketball player, with a great deal of emphasis on the former, my passion for the game has since led me on quite the journey. Writing for the Oregon Sports News, along with the effort I’m putting in to finally get a long ago developed proprietary basketball performance analytical tool off the ground, represent full circle moments. There have been a multitude of stops & roles along the way, the pertinent ones being Assistant to Director of Basketball Operations, Basketball Operations Assistant, NBA Draft Statistical Analyst, & Sports Writer, & the less pertinent – Store Manager, Lids Sports Group. I suppose one hasn’t really lived unless they’ve worked in retail or so I’ve told myself.