5 Trail Blazers most affected by the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery

Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers - Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers - Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /
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A few ping pong balls can change an entire franchise’s trajectory. Two weeks ago, that’s exactly what happened with the San Antonio Spurs, Charlotte Hornets, and Portland Trail Blazers, who all saw their futures affected by some good lottery luck.

While they didn’t luck out completely and get a chance to grab Victor Wembanyama, the Blazers ascended two spots and landed the third pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Whether they keep it or not has since become an open question, but it’s worth appreciating how monumental of a coup this was for Portland.

The last time the Trail Blazers had a top three pick was 2007, when they won the lottery and selected Greg Oden over Kevin Durant. Since then, the franchise has been carried by both LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard to new heights, including 11 playoff appearances since that fateful draft night.

Now, with such a prized pick in their war chest, the Blazers look primed to make a number of impactful changes this offseason. These could affect any number of previously untouchable players and portend one of the most important summers for Portland in recent memory.

So who could be most affected?

Most Affected Trail Blazer #1: Kevin Knox II

At the trade deadline, the Trail Blazers spent most of their short-term assets to snag as many buy-low wings as they could, ending up with Kevin Knox II, Cam Reddish, and Matisse Thybulle.

These moves were done with the hope that maybe one or two of the trio could become a reliable starter for the team on the way to a playoff push, but the Blazers cratered somewhat due to that failing.

Thybulle was the same all defense, no offense player he’d been in Philadelphia, while Reddish had a slightly more efficient turn as the starting wing for the team. Both of these players have their flaws, but even with their contracts up to either a cap hold or team option, each should expect to be back with the Blazers.

Knox II, on the other hand, didn’t do anything to impress the team in his 21 games in Portland. He was still a fairly average shooter, didn’t bring anything else on the offensive end, and was a poor defender, which definitely doesn’t justify the cap hold that he has with the team heading into next season.

With Portland looking to make a massive splash via trade, they’ll need all the financial flexibility they can get. That means that, even if it was likely before, there’s no way that Knox II will be on the roster at this price next year, making him one of the most affected Blazers due to money and poor production.