6 March Madness prospects who just proved they're perfect fits for Blazers' rebuild

It only took the first weekend for these players to show they belong in Portland.

Zach Edey, Purdue Boilermakers
Zach Edey, Purdue Boilermakers / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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Harrison Ingram, F, North Carolina

Harrison Ingram looks like what Nassir Little was supposed to be when the Trail Blazers drafted him in 2019. Ingram is the prototypical modern NBA four; he's strong, quick and switchable with a good (and still developing) 3-point shot. He's versatile enough to slide into a lineup and be a low-usage connector but talented and streaky enough to carry a team offensively for stretches.

Ingram was a five-star recruit who chose to play at Stanford, but his two seasons with the Cardinal were underwhelming. Since he arrived in Chapel Hill, though, he's blossomed.

Ingram averaged 12.2 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists this year at 6-foot-8 and put-together 230 pounds. He's played next to All-American center Armando Bacot but has also seen time on the wing. The 21-year-old junior is shooting a career-high 38.7 percent from deep this year on a career-high 4.5 attempts per game.

He's developed into an irreplaceable Swiss army knife for a Tar Heels team that could win a national title and could do the same in Portland.

Zach Edey, C, Purdue

Edey is the most polarizing draft prospect in this class and maybe in the last few seasons. He's about to become a back-to-back National Player of the Year, dominates near the rim on both ends and is one of the best pure back-to-the-basket post players in recent memory.

He's also plodding, will get dusted in transition and is likely to become a specialist who can only be on the floor in certain situations.

Still, the Trail Blazers could stand to add a big man in this year's draft, and Edey is 7-foot-3 and 300 pounds. Portland needs rim protection behind their diminutive backcourt and the Purdue star has blocked 2.1 and 2.3 shots per game the past two seasons, respectively.

Just because he's massive, don't underestimate Edey's skill level. He's agile for someone his size, knows how to position himself for an entry pass and has touch around the rim. He's used to seeing double teams and knows how to find an open shooter.

Yes, NBA teams could go small and attack Edey in pick-and-rolls to expose him as a perimeter defender and force him to run the floor in transition. If they do that, though, they run the risk of being dominated on the interior in the half-court on both ends of the floor.

He'll never be a 30-minute-per-game starting center in the pros, but he's more than capable of dominating an NBA game in the right situation and his profile fits snugly into what the Blazers need as a rotational big man.

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