Blazers mock draft roundup: Portland prioritizes defense at pick No. 7

The Portland Trail Blazers have a trending prospect at pick No. 7 in the latest 2024 NBA mock drafts; his defensive impact could give them a new team identity.
Apr 6, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Connecticut Huskies center Donovan Clingan (32)
Apr 6, 2024; Glendale, AZ, USA; Connecticut Huskies center Donovan Clingan (32) / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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The Ringer: Zaccharie Risacher, Forward, JL Bourg (France)

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor has Risacher falling to the Blazers in his latest mock draft. Like any other prospect in this draft, he's not a sure-fire pick. But if Portland somehow lands Risacher, the draft will already feel like a win despite having three more picks. 

Last season in the LNB Pro A, Risacher averaged 10.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, and 0.8 steals per game on 44/35/74 shooting splits. Those numbers are more impressive when considering that he's a teenager playing in a competitive professional league.

As O'Connor mentions, early in his career, Risacher would benefit from Henderson's drive-and-kick ability to get open looks. Then, as he continues to develop, Risacher could take an increased role as a shot-creator in the offense. It would be an ideal and seamless addition to their young core on both sides of the ball. 

"Now the priority is about finding the right fit next to their young point guard, which is why Risacher is the choice here with his flashes of shot-making as a high-end role player who could flourish with a smaller playmaking guard."

Kevin O'Connor

With so many question marks surrounding the lottery prospects this year, Risacher seems like a safe pick with a high floor as a 6-foot-8, two-way wing. Combine that with his potential to expand his offensive arsenal at only 19 years old, and it makes sense that he's a top prospect in this year's draft class. 

The main question is if Risacher will be available at pick No. 7. In the three other mock drafts, the French wing goes no later than to the Houston Rockets at No. 3, with two of them having him land with the Washington Wizards at No. 2.