Prospect No. 2 – Brandon Miller, F, Alabama
Miller is a star freshman wing for the No. 1 overall seed Crimson Tide. The Blazers may have to have a bit of lottery luck involved to be in a position to select Miller – currently, he is projected to be a top-five selection. Given the new lottery odds system, though, it’s not an unrealistic scenario.
These next weeks are pivotal for Portland’s chances of landing someone like Miller. For example, the odds of landing a top-four pick for the 10th-worst team in the league are 10.3 percent, whereas the odds for the seventh-worst team are 34.4 percent.
Miller has certainly had some off-court distractions, but he’s talented enough to contribute immediately at the next level. He excels on defense, using his 6-9 length and athleticism to stay in front of his man, disrupt passing lanes, switch onto various positions, and secure the rebound.
Like Walker, Miller would also bring that coveted size and defensive switchability.
The Tide freshman is averaging around 1 steal and block a game, but his impact on defense goes beyond the stats, as he alters so many shots. In addition, NBA offenses consistently utilize pick-and-rolls to get the optimal matchup, but with his versatility, Miller should have no issue being switched onto smaller guards and thriving on defense with the NBA-style of play.
On offense, Miller shoots close to 40 percent from three, meaning he’d fit in just about anywhere with his ability to space the floor. He’s also extremely capable of creating his shot, averaging around 19 points a game.
One knock on Miller would be his playmaking; he has around a 1:1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Having electric guards in Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons, however, the Blazers don’t need him to be as much of a playmaker.
Miller could be the long-term solution Portland has been searching for at the wing position.