Portland Trail Blazers drop to 7th pick in 2022 NBA Draft; world still intact

Jalen Duren, Portland Trail Blazers, 2022 NBA Draft Lottery (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Jalen Duren, Portland Trail Blazers, 2022 NBA Draft Lottery (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The 2022 NBA Draft lottery did not go well for the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite holding the sixth-best lottery odds, a 37 percent chance to rise into the top four, and a nine percent rate to land the number one overall pick, the Blazers will not be making the first selection in the upcoming draft.

Okay, they didn’t get the second or third pick either, which means they won’t have to debate themselves on if you go with the next Michael Jordan, if a player like him was out there, or Sam Bowie, which we know happened in the 1984 draft. They didn’t even get the sixth pick. In the end — to the great dismay of Damian Lillard and fans watching from all over the globe — Portland ended up with just the seventh-overall pick in the upcoming draft.

Damian Lillard, 2022 NBA Draft lottery, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard, 2022 NBA Draft lottery, Portland Trail Blazers Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

The Portland Trail Blazers drop after the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery

Believe it or not, the world did not spontaneously combust, but rather, kept on turning per usual. What that means is that Trail Blazers brass will still have to clock in to work and do their jobs which now mainly consist of analyzing the best possible options they’ll have with the seventh pick and deep-diving into prospects slated to be available in that range.

Most of the big named players like Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero will be off the board and headed to other teams. Even Iowa’s Keegan Murray will likely be gone as well.

What the Blazers desperately need besides a power forward is a backup to Jusuf Nurkić. Cody Zeller and Drew Eubanks were brought in last season to fill that role. Eubanks filled in nicely for the injured Nurkić, but signing Zeller — an oft-injured player in his own right — was definitely a head-scratcher.

Memphis center Jalen Duren at 6’11” could be a nice selection at seven. The ACC Freshman of the Year averaged 12.0 points and 8.1 rebounds this past season for the Tigers. He can also play some at the four. Lousiana State forward Tari Eason, as well as Duke small forward AJ Griffin, would fit in nicely wearing the Portland black, red and white and could both be available by the time the Blazers are on the clock.

The Blazers could even play “Let’s Make a Deal” with the pick, a combination of players, and future selections to move up in the draft to select one of the top prospects. Word has it some of the teams with higher picks are keeping their options open and could elect to trade down if the right deal came along. This has happened with the Blazers in the past.

Or, there’s even the possibility of a trade to land an experienced player like Detroit’s Jerami Grant who could be available. That seventh pick and another player or two should get a deal done with the Detroit Pistons, although, some fans would argue this is an overpay for Grant’s services.

While landing the seventh pick may have been a disappointment, it isn’t all doom and gloom. This is General Manager Joe Cronin’s first draft. Let’s see what he can do with that pick before we plan for armageddon.

Next. Portland Trail Blazers: 2022 NBA Draft Big Board – Top 10. dark