Ideal selection at No. 23: Noah Clowney, F, Alabama
The Trail Blazers are in desperate need of size of any kind, but size that comes with athleticism in particular. Here, Portland finds that with Clowney at No. 23.
Clowney’s length and athletic ability would immediately improve Portland’s interior defense and depth. If Jusuf Nurkic is still in a Rip City jersey, Clowney could come off the bench to provide a burst of energy; play alongside Nurk in two-big lineups; or eventually play his way into the starting lineup.
The 6-10 big man won’t turn 19 until after the draft, but his combination of movement skills, length, and hustle will allow him to play minutes right away, despite his thin frame.
Clowney also has offensive upside outside of rim running and catching lobs; he showed a willingness to let fly from deep during his lone season at Alabama, and he does so with a good, fluid form, especially for a big man.
If he can turn into a respectable 3-point threat, his ceiling vaults from a solid starting center to one with All-Star potential.