2024 NBA Draft: 1 crucial skill each player mocked to the Blazers would provide

These players selected by Portland in mock drafts would fill various needs for Rip City.
Tennessee v Purdue
Tennessee v Purdue / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages
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Donovan Clingan, Boo Buie
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Northwestern v UConn / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Donovan Clingan: Rim-protection

In Donovan Clingan’s sophomore season at UConn, he averaged 2.5 blocks per game and tied for the fifth-highest block total in the NCAA at 86, even exceeding two-time National Player of the Year, Purdue's Zach Edey. Cligan possesses the physical tools to continue his defensive dominance in the paint, standing 7-foot-2 with a 7-foot-7 wingspan and 9-foot-7 standing reach. At 280 pounds, Clingan also has relatively quick agility and can move his feet well on defense for his size; this allows him to guard out on the perimeter, recover on plays, and provide help-side defense at the rim.

Clingan’s strength as a rim-protector would mesh exceptionally well with a team like Portland. Between Malcolm Brogdon, Anfernee Simons, Scoot Henderson, and Shaedon Sharpe, the majority of the Blazers' core consists of undersized backcourt players. His defensive presence in the paint would be a considerable addition to help compensate for the defensive liabilities in the Blazers’ backcourt, particularly Simons, who is the worst defender in the NBA, at least according to this defensive EPM metric.

The Blazers already have Deandre Ayton as their starting center, making Clingan’s fit appear slightly more questionable. However, Ayton only averaged 0.8 blocks per game this past season, and Clingan would be a significant upgrade in this aspect.