Blazers 2-round mock draft: Controversial Ignite star headlines hunt for next Giannis

Even in a widely criticized draft class there's an opportunity to find a generational star if you're willing to take the swing.

Ron Holland, G League Ignite
Ron Holland, G League Ignite / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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The 2024 NBA Draft class is being heavily compared to the 2013 class as one of the worst of all time. Anthony Bennett went No. 1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers that summer, a draft in which Otto Porter Jr., Cody Zeller and Alex Len were top-five picks. It also featured, however, one of the greatest players of all time in Giannis Antetokounmpo and one of the best defenders of all time in Rudy Gobert.

Antetokounmpo and Gobert were taken as pure upside fliers by the Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz, respectively. No one - literally no one - knew the type of players they would become.

If it happened in 2013, it could happen in 2024.

The Portland Trail Blazers are finishing year one of a total rebuild. They dealt Damian Lillard to Milwaukee and drafted 19-year-old point guard Scoot Henderson with the third-overall selection in 2023, adding him to a core that features 20-year-old Shaedon Sharpe and 24-year-old Anfernee Simons. The Blazers aren't aiming for NBA titles anytime in the next few seasons.

Portland Trail Blazers gamble on upside in 2024 NBA mock draft

That window of roster building rather than championship contention gives Portland a golden opportunity to do exactly what the Bucks and Jazz did: throw all caution to the wind and gamble on raw talent and potential with the hopes that one or more of their four picks - all of which come in the top 39 - develop into the next Giannis or Gobert.

Using Tankathon's mock draft simulator, here's where the Blazers could go with their quartet of selections in the 2024 NBA Draft.