Blazers mock draft roundup: Portland lands No. 1 in lottery sim, March Madness rules

The Trail Blazers win the lottery and grab an international star at No. 1 while filling out the rookie class with March Madness stars.
Joe Cronin, Portland Trail Blazers
Joe Cronin, Portland Trail Blazers / Soobum Im/GettyImages
2 of 4

Blazers win the NBA draft lottery, pick Zaccharie Risacher

In a dream scenario that Portland fans hope becomes true, general manager Joe Cronin lucks into the No. 1 overall selection and takes French wing Zaccharie Risacher, who Sam Vecenie of The Athletic (subscription required) has as the top player on his board.

Risacher is an 18-year-old, 6-foot-8 wing who's consistently shot in the mid-40-percent range from three this year in both EuroCup and French league games. He can hit from deep in catch-and-shoot situations but is just as deadly running off screens, pin-downs and dribble handoffs.

He has a high basketball IQ, which makes him a good passer and connector on offense and a good help defender. Coupled with his length, he has the potential to guard two through four in the NBA.

Risacher struggles to create his own shot, though, and he may never develop that skill (although he'll only be 19 on draft night so there's time to grow). That may limit his NBA ceiling, but a knockdown shooter with size, length and defensive versatility is a sought-after archetype and would fit well in Portland.

No. 14: Ja'Kobe Walter, G, Baylor

With their second lottery pick, courtesy of the Golden State Warriors, Vecenie has the Trail Blazers grabbing Baylor freshman Ja'Kobe Walter. This would be an upside play as Walter hasn't been the shooter and scorer scouts thought he would be this season in the Big 12.

The 19-year-old is a 6-foot-5 guard/wing who could eventually become a Jamal Crawford, Lou Williams, Jordan Clarkson sixth-man type if everything comes together. His ceiling may not be any higher than that, but it's worth taking a flier on one of those late in the lottery of a poor draft class.

Next: Two potential March Madness stars end up in Portland