Rodions Kurucs, a Lativian forward, has spurned NBA Draft buzz and removed his name from consideration. He was slated to fall somewhere in the late 20s, where Portland is selecting.
With three first-round picks in the upcoming NBA Draft, Rodions Kurucs made sense for the Blazers.
He fit the bill as a draft-and-stash prospect for a team that has 15 guys already on the team — for now, at least.
John Wassermann of Bleacher Report said this of their fit:
He looks the part physically and athletically, and though not overly sharp skill-wise just yet, the Blazers aren’t likely to bring in a third rookie next year anyway. They’ll let him season abroad to polish his scoring and shooting.
The Blazers weren’t the only team linked to Kurucs, either. From Basketball Insiders:
An interesting tidbit of information I got during the last week: the Nets are “sold” on Latvian Rodions Kurucs…but I am hearing that he could go as early as No. 15 to Portland.
Just because Kurucs made sense for draft-and-stash purposes, that doesn’t mean he would be worth the pick. The 6’9” forward averaged 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game this season; he doesn’t jump off the page in the slightest.
It’s shocking to hear the Blazers were willing to sacrifice their best pick on Kurucs.
But, the forward’s agent announced his forward will forego the draft:
With three first round picks, and the extreme likelihood three roster spots will open up for them, Neil Olshey can’t sit back and wait for stash prospects.
For a team in win-now mode, stashing doesn’t fulfill their goal. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum only have so long in their primes. They need talent around them, and it needs to arrive in a hurry, or last season very well could repeat in the 2017-2018 season.