1 Prospect for every possible Portland Trail Blazers NBA Draft position

Victor Wembanyama, Metropolitans 92 - Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
Victor Wembanyama, Metropolitans 92 - Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports /
8 of 10
Cam Whitmore, Villanova Wildcats
Cam Whitmore, Villanova Wildcats – Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The pick at No. 8: Cam Whitmore, Villanova Wildcats

If one Cam is good for the Blazers, why not two?

Toward the back half of the 2023 NBA Lottery, there are fewer surefire star prospects and more high-level future role players. Kentucky’s Cason Wallace looks like he could be a team’s starting point guard for a decade, Baylor’s Keyonte George looks like a future sixth man of the year, and Michigan’s Jett Howard is a dead-eye shooter with some evolving passing chops.

The last true star swing, however, is still on the board. There was a brief period of time when Cam Whitmore looked like he might be the best prospect in college basketball after returning from a thumb injury.

Although his season was more of a roller coaster, Whitmore still showed enough upside that any team picking eighth would gladly select him and hope for him to hit his ceiling.

Whitmore is a combo forward, but not in a derogatory sense – he has a good handle, a solid shooting stroke, and the best wing athleticism outside of the Thompson twins. Whitmore attacks the rim with a ferocity rarely seen for a player his size and, with his complete offensive package, he could be a future star in the front court:

Surprisingly, Whitmore is one of the better natural fits for this Portland roster as currently constructed. He fits well with Grant, offering a second helping of talented forward scoring while Grant can pick up some of his defensive slack.

Whitmore could also space the floor for Lillard and Simons, giving him immediate value to the team.

While he won’t be a part of the eventual defensive retooling, Whitmore’s offense and ultimate ceiling are high enough that it doesn’t matter. If he can improve his consistency, shot creation, and playmaking, Whitmore might just be the forward star that the Blazers have been looking for throughout Lillard’s career.