Predicting the Blazers' perfect starting lineup after ideal offseason

The Portland Trail Blazers could have a promising starting lineup entering the 2024-25 NBA season if all the cards fall into place.
Mar 13, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14)
Mar 13, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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Center: Donovan Clingan

Here, the Blazers take Connecticut center Donovan Clingan with their No. 7 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. Some analysts have projected Clingan to land with the Blazers at No. 7, but it still feels likely that he will go earlier. Even if there isn't a need for a center with teams drafting before the Blazers, like the Pistons and Hornets, anything is possible in the draft. Teams could trade up or he could land in the top four to a team like the Spurs.

Teams constantly seek centers with Clingan's skill set and defensive instincts in the draft to build their identity. At 7-foot-2 with a 7-foot-7 wingspan, Clingan projects to be an elite rim protector at the next level if he reaches his upside. From a defensive standpoint, he's also an ideal modern-day center, given his ability to effectively move his feet and hold his own when defending guards out on the perimeter when needed in pick-and-rolls.

Clingan averaged 13.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.5, and 2.5 blocks with Connecticut. He was a huge reason why Connecticut won back-to-back national championships. Clingan's ability to impact winning should also translate at the NBA level, especially on the defensive end. In this scenario, Portland has elite defensive prospects in Camara and Clingan to complement its incredibly athletic guards with enormous offensive potential in Henderson and Sharpe. And an established star in Ingram to lead the way.