Portland Trail Blazers: 3 prospects worth trading into the NBA Draft for

Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Draft (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers, NBA Draft (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Ayo Dosunmu, University of Illinois, Loyola University Chicago
Ayo Dosunmu, University of Illinois, Loyola University Chicago (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

Portland Trail Blazers: Ayo Dosunmu would be a perfect backup point guard

One of the Blazers biggest needs to address this offseason is playmaking. Outside of Damian Lillard, Portland has a dearth of players capable of creating offense for others with regularity.

The Blazers staggered Dame and CJ McCollum‘s minutes this season to make up for their lack of a backup point guard, but we all know how well that worked out. There’s a reason that Portland finished 20th in the league in bench scoring last season.

While Melo, Simons, and Enes Kanter are more than capable of getting buckets, the Blazers lack of a floor general held them back from scoring at their true potential.

Portland didn’t have a single pass-first player on the roster in 2020-2021 which was directly responsible for their dead last ranking in assists per game as a team.

Trading into the draft for the University of Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu would certainly increase that average next season. While the former Fighting Illini isn’t exactly a pass-first player either, he would be the second best playmaker on the Blazers roster next year behind only Dame.

In the above play, Ayo proves that he has the chops to grow into a double-digit assists threat in the NBA. First, he fires a laser to the corner off-the-dribble with his off-hand. Then, after the miss, he hustles to the ball, while reading the floor, grabs the offensive rebound, and finds his teammate under the cup in one smooth action. This level of playmaking is missing from the Blazers bench.

Dosunmu wrapped up his junior year last season averaging 20.1 points and 5.3 assists per game while shooting 49 percent from the floor, 39 from deep, and 78 from the line.

What’s encouraging is Dosunmu’s improvement in each season. He increased his scoring, efficiency, and assist totals each year.

At 6’5 and 200-lbs, the 21 year old will enter the league ready to check opposing guards on defense. He showed in college that he’s a versatile and committed defender.

The best part is that trading for Dosunmu shouldn’t even cost the Blazers too much. Between Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, Jonathan Wasserman of BleacherReport, and Colin Ward-Henninger of CBSSports, the three analysts had the guard getting drafted at an average position of 26th.

Nabbing Dosunmu would give the Blazers another young guard to grow along Simons, a willing playmaker, and an overall strong backup floor general.