Major NBA draft change should provide massive opportunity for Trail Blazers

Expect more wheeling and dealing from Portland.
2023 NBA Draft
2023 NBA Draft / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

There are a few reasons the Portland Trail Blazers won only 21 games this season. Injuries to key players like Anfernee Simons, Deandre Ayton, Malcolm Brogdon and Jerami Grant played a part, but it was always going to be a developmental season for the organization. The young guys were going to play a lot of minutes, especially at the end of the season, with an eye on draft positioning.

The Trail Blazers successfully tanked their way into the third- or fourth-best odds at the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. They'll have another first-round selection from the Golden State Warriors by way of the Boston Celtics that should land in the late lottery. But Portland also has a pair of early second-round picks that could prove to be more valuable this summer than they have been in summers past.

The NBA changed the draft format from 1 to 2 nights

For the first time, the NBA draft will take place across two days with the first round coming on June 26 and the second round playing out the following night. The time between picks in the second round will also double from two minutes to four minutes.

Having 24 hours between picks 30 and 31 will give teams more time to evaluate their draft boards and start making calls to move up or down. An extra two minutes between picks in the second round will provide even more opportunities for front offices to chat about potential trade scenarios.

The new format could lead to the Blazers making moves on draft night

In addition to its pair of lottery selections, Portland owns picks Nos. 33 and 40. It's unlikely general manager Joe Cronin adds four more rookies to what's already one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, which means there's a decent chance the Trail Blazers make some draft-related moves.


With far more time for Cronin to contemplate what he wants to do and either make calls to other teams or field them, draft night could be more interesting for Rip City fans than it has been the past few seasons.