The pick at No. 2: Trade for a star
Despite some scattered chatter, it’s hard to see any team passing up on a potential generational point guard in Scoot Henderson for an all-world athlete like Amen Thompson or a sweet-shooting forward like Alabama’s Brandon Miller.
With that said, it’s hard to imagine the Blazers staying in this spot if the lottery odds smile upon them and send their pick skyrocketing to second. Instead, the team would be better served trading the pick to a team that is still rebuilding but has a star that could be available.
The two teams that stick out as having borderline All-NBA talents at positions of need for Portland who would also likely trade those types of players for Scoot Henderson are Utah and Toronto.
The Jazz, despite their surprising season, are still looking for a superstar prospect to build around. It would be painful, but Danny Ainge would likely part with Lauri Markkanen to grab Scoot, giving the Blazers an all-star seven-footer with range way past the 3-point line:
For the Raptors, their season has been a whirlwind of tight wins and disappointing losses. If Masai Ujiri, president of the Raptors, sees the writing on the wall for the team’s playoff ceiling, he could do much worse than acquiring a star guard in Scoot, letting Fred VanVleet walk, and trading Pascal Siakam to open up minutes for Scottie Barnes as a top scoring option.
That would give the Blazers a better forward than Jerami Grant who could also play next to Grant if Jerami re-signs with the team. A core of Lillard-Simons-Grant and either Markkanen or Siakam would be good enough to get a playoff spot and potentially more in a weakened West.