Portland Trail Blazers 2023 NBA Draft Big Board: Final pre-draft rankings

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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Taylor Hendricks should be on the Portland Trail Blazers 2023 NBA Draft Big Board.
Taylor Hendricks, University of Central Florida Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

5. Taylor Hendricks, F, Central Florida

Big Board 3.0 rank: NR

Hendricks doesn’t get enough attention as a 6-foot-9, possibly 6-foot-10, forward with a 7-foot-1 wingspan who’s versatile defensively and has become a knockdown three-point shooter. That’s why he vaults to No. 5 as a fit for the Blazers.

His trajectory points toward an oversized three-and-D forward who can guard three through five and protect the rim. He played center in high school and dabbled there in his one-and-done season at UCF, as well.

He’s long enough and smart enough defensively to guard multiple positions, but unlike most wings of that archetype, he’s a fantastic deterrent at the basket – he averaged 1.7 blocks last season – with his above-average leaping ability, experience defending near the rim, and quick second jump.

Offensively, Hendricks averaged 15.1 points and 7.0 rebounds as a freshman while hitting 39.4 percent of his shots behind the arc. He’s a three-and-D tweener; rather than playing mostly as a wing, his best position in the NBA will be at the four, though in some situations, especially if he gets stronger, he’s capable of playing as a stretch five.

He can face up from the perimeter and shoot over defenders if he’s in rhythm. He’s a potentially unstoppable screener in pick-and-roll action as he presents multiple options; he’s long, athletic, and times his runs to the rim well, but he can also pick-and-pop to knock down an open shot or draw the defense out toward the perimeter.

His biggest flaw is a lack of shot creation. He doesn’t have the tightest handles and isn’t super efficient shooting off the bounce or finding teammates. But as a three-and-D player who can protect the rim like a center, Hendricks’ versatility and ceiling are off the charts.