Portland Trail Blazers: An Early Look at the 2015 NBA Draft


Unlike last season, the Portland Trail Blazers will have their pick in the first-round of NBA Draft. Don’t get overly excited, though. Very few rookies have a big impact in their first season in the league; especially picks later in the first-round and into the second-round. In the 2015 NBA Draft, Portland has the 23rd pick in the first-round.

We don’t know what the Trail Blazers’ roster is going to look like yet, but assuming most free agents return, which isn’t as crazy as some people might think, Portland could plan for any direction in the draft. Depending on where the Trail Blazers feel they stand with their free agents at the time of the draft, they could actually try to fill an area of need with their selection. That area will depend on what they expect to happen with their current players in July.

With all that said, that’s not stopping some of the NBA’s best writers all across the web from making their picks in mock drafts. Here are who those writers presently have the Trail Blazers selecting with the 23rd pick.

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Well, there you have it. Other than Fitzgerald’s off-the-wall pick of Terry Rozier (Will Barton 1.5), which would be an unexpected pick by the Trail Blazers, it looks like Wood, Harrell, and Anderson are the top three to watch if you’re a Trail Blazers fan this summer.

Right now, I think Wood is the most enticing prospect for Portland, at least in the late-first round range.

At 6-11, 220, Wood reminds me a lot of a young LaMarcus Aldridge. At UNLV, Wood really came into his own last season, averaging 15.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game.

Like Aldridge, Wood has the skill to score in the low-post and bounce outside to knock down 3-pointers. He’s not a great shooter yet, but he definitely has that in his arsenal.

In the NBA, Wood is going to need a lot of time to develop, but there is no better player than Aldridge to play behind, assuming Aldridge re-signs in July.

Anderson would also be safe pick for Portland. I like Anderson’s ability to be a “3-and-D” wing in the NBA. The Blazers could definitely use a Courtney Lee/Thabo Sefolosha-type that Anderson could become with some polishing.

If Portland wants to take a risk in the first round, Robert Upshaw, the center out of Washington, is a player to keep an eye on also. He’s has a bit of a troubled past, but he was leading the NCAA in blocked shots before he was dismissed from the team in Washington.

Meyers Leonard has emerged as a stretch-5, but Portland still lacks the inside defensive presence when Robin Lopez isn’t in the game. Upshaw could be a cheap option and a nice project with extremely high upside, for lack of a better phrase.

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