8. Draft Bam Adebayo over Zach Collins in 2017?
Fans heard the Adebayo trade rumors ahead of the 2023 NBA Draft, but the Trail Blazers could have selected the prized big man in 2017. Portland traded the 15th and 20th picks in that draft to move up to tenth, where they selected Zach Collins.
The Blazers wanted Collins over Adebayo in 2017. Despite never starting a game at Gonzaga, Collins displayed a unique skill set. He made ten of his 21 3-point attempts and is two inches taller than Adebayo. Portland believed in his star potential, but it was not meant to be.
Adebayo was the 14th overall pick by the Miami Heat and quickly blossomed into a two-way force. The 6’9 big man became an elite passer and defender as injuries derailed Collins’ potential. Adebayo is a two-time All-Star, and Collins is looking for his first full-time starting gig as they enter their seventh NBA season.
The Portland Trail Blazers had reached the playoffs four straight years in 2017. Now imagine adding Bam Adebayo, who broke out just as Damian Lillard and company were making their run to the conference finals in 2019. Things certainly would have been different in Portland with a dominant big man inside.