Creating the perfect 2023 Blazers draft: Ideal selections for all 3 picks

Victor Wembanyama, Metropolitans 92 (left), Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Victor Wembanyama, Metropolitans 92 (left), Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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With the 2023 NBA Draft approaching, it’s time to start making some choices. Literally. With the roster at a crossroads, the Portland Trail Blazers draft decisions on June 22 will point the franchise in one direction or another.

With only rumors floating around at the moment – albeit many, many rumors – Portland General Manager Joe Cronin is still the owner of three picks in this year’s draft: Nos. 3, 23, and 43. And as the draft gets closer, the possibility of the Blazers staying put and selecting a prospect at one or all of those spots becomes greater.

So what if Portland continues to try and straddle the line between building for the future and winning in the present? What if all three of those picks are made on draft night?

Creating the ideal Blazers draft

Ideal selection at No. 3: Scoot Henderson, PG, G League Ignite

Scoot is the second-best prospect in this class, so landing him at No. 3 would be a boon for the Blazers.

A lot has been made of Alabama wing Brandon Miller’s size, position, and fit next to Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons. As a 6-foot-9 shot-maker, it’s easy to see the appeal.

Henderson, however, is simply a better, more NBA-ready basketball player, and his lack of fit alongside Dame has been overblown. He’s not Simons or CJ McCollum all over again; he may be a 6-2 guard, but his 6-foot-9 wingspan, strength, athleticism, and the intensity with which he plays couldn’t be more anti-Ant or -CJ.

Scoot gets downhill quickly and can either explode to the rim or finish with touch. He’s an improving playmaker who doesn’t get stuck single-mindedly driving to score; he can kick out to open shooters or find cutters, and he should find more space to drive in the NBA with Lillard spacing the floor, not to mention the athletic backcourt the Blazers could run out with he and Shaedon Sharpe.

He’s Russell Westbrook with the right attitude.

Drafting for best-player-available here also leaves the door open for other moves. If Scoot comes to Portland, packaging Simons and the No. 23 pick still leaves Cronin with legitimate ammo to add a veteran wing.