Trail Blazers 2024 NBA Mock Drafts: Projecting all 4 of Portland's picks

If the season ended today, here's what could happen for the Blazers in the draft.

(l to r) Donovan Clingan, Stephon Castle, Alex Karaban; Connecticut Huskies
(l to r) Donovan Clingan, Stephon Castle, Alex Karaban; Connecticut Huskies / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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No. 13: Donovan Clingan, C, UConn

The chances that Castle's teammate is still around at pick No. 13 are getting smaller by the game. Clingan has been dominant throughout this year's NCAA Tournament, especially in the Huskies' Elite Eight matchup with Illinois.

The Fighting Illini, one of the best offensive teams in college basketball all season featuring one of the country's best offensive players in Terrence Shannon Jr., could do absolutely nothing against the player Hurley calls Cling Kong.

Illinois scored four points in the first half when Clingan was on the floor. The 7-foot-2, 280-pound center had 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in the first half. His presence at the rim - he has a 7-7 wingspan in addition to his height and strength - was a key part of Connecticut's 30-0 run that blew that game wide open.

Clingan finished the night with 22 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks and 3 steals in just 22 minutes.

The 20-year-old's dominance at the rim should translate to the NBA. There are questions surrounding his ability to score away from the basket and he'll likely be relegated to playing drop coverage on defense, although he's big enough and nimble enough to excel at it in a Brook Lopez-type of way. He's already dealt with a foot injury at UConn, which is never a good sign for someone Clingan's size, and that's forced him to play limited minutes so far in his career.

But the pros outweigh the cons, especially for a team like the Blazers who could use the big man's defensive presence and rebounding and have playmaking guards who can find Clingan in good spots near the basket where he can get easy scoring opportunities.