2024 Blazers Mock Draft 2.0: Portland adds key cog in rebuild, 3 other young talents

The Trail Blazers must add talent in the 2024 NBA Draft, and these players feel like fits.
2024 NBA Draft, Portland Trail Blazers, Stephon Castle
2024 NBA Draft, Portland Trail Blazers, Stephon Castle / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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34. Portland takes Justin Edwards

The Trail Blazers should shoot for upside in the second round. They have time to develop talent and the hit rate on these prospects is much lower. Portland should not be afraid to take a raw player their front office believes in.

Edwards fits this bill. He ranked third in his class coming out of high school and was a projected top-five draft pick heading into his freshman season at Kentucky. The 6’7 wing was profiled as a dynamic scorer, but never quite found his footing with the Wildcats.

Edwards started 30 of his 32 games but averaged just 8.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 0.9 steals in 21.4 minutes each night. He shot 48.6 percent from the field and 36.5 percent on his 3-point attempts. There were flashes, but Edwards was often outplayed by Rob Dillingham and Reed Sheppard coming off the bench.

The 20-year-old could fit nicely in Portland. He competes hard on the defensive end and is a connector on offense. He won’t create a ton of shots and was not aggressively looking for his own, but the Blazers need someone to keep the ball moving. There are questions about his jumper, but Edwards made 31 of his 85 3-point attempts in his lone college season.

Could Justin Edwards blossom into a strong 3-and-D option in the NBA? There is certainly untapped potential, and the 6’7 wing is a worthy gamble in the early second round.