The Portland Trail Blazers potentially have two first-round picks in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft. Their own pick could land as high as number one overall, as Portland will retain the rights to the selection as long as the pick lands in the lottery — a foregone conclusion with the Trail Blazers’ current roster construction. Their second pick comes courtesy of the New Orleans Pelicans — but will only relay if it lands between the fifth and 14th selections — which puts them in prime position for a late lottery steal such as Iowa Hawkeye, Keegan Murray.
For more on Keegan Murray and other draft prospects for the Portland Trail Blazers, check out our latest podcast with draft expert Brian Schroeder below:
Murray has been one of the greatest benefactors of this college season. Sporting News’s Kyle Irving had him going to the Golden State Warriors with the 22nd pick in his preseason edition of the mock draft. In Irving’s latest version, he’s pegged Murray as a possible candidate for the Portland Trail Blazers with the sixth-overall pick.
Portland Trail Blazers 2022 NBA Draft spotlight: Keegan Murray
Murray’s fit with Portland seems obvious. A rangy, athletic wing who can play and guard both forward spots seems like the perfect piece to place between the Trail Blazers’ new star backcourt tandem and Jusuf Nurkic.
After the initial top-three of Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero, and Jabari Smith, Murray is one forward in a bunch of high-level prospects that project to go in the late lottery. With a draft class loaded with forwards and bigs, though, let’s dive deeper into the things that separate Murray from his peers.