The NBA Draft is coming up on October 16, which means The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each day, a new team will be analyzed for their past season, their team needs and projected targets. Today, the Portland Trail Blazers will be evaluated.
After a run to the Western Conference Finals last season the Portland Trail Blazers had high hopes for 2020. Sadly, the season didn’t exactly turn out to plan.
Portland caught the injury bug early. One of their starters Jusuf Nurkic missed the majority of the season because of a broken leg suffered during the 2018-2019 season. Two more starters in Rodney Hood and Zach Collins would follow him within the first month of play.
A depleted Trail Blazers squad struggled to pick up wins. They limped into the Orlando bubble as the 9th seed in the western conference, three and a half games out of a playoff spot. A great run in Orlando that saw them go 7-1 in the play-in games before defeating the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
They managed to win game one versus LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers but then were soundly beaten in the next four games to end their season in the first round.
Although Damian Lillard excelled, especially in Orlando where he won the Bubble MVP award, questions must be asked about the rest of the team. Is a backcourt of Lillard and CJ McCollum capable of winning a title? Is it time to trade for better defenders? No matter what direction Portland’s front office takes, change is on the way for the Trail Blazers roster.
The Portland Trail Blazers have two picks in the 2020 NBA Draft
First Round: Pick No.16
Second Round: Pick No.46
Perimeter Defense: Lillard and McCollum both struggle with perimeter defense and the team needs to add a quality outside defender to make up for this. Teams shot over 38 percent from deep against them, the second-highest percentage in the league.
A Quality Power Forward: While many thought Zach Collins would be Portland’s power forward of the future, he has been quite injury prone and it may be time for Portland to look for an already polished player who can come in and play well immediately at the four.
Round 1 Pick No.16: Saddiq Bey, F (Villanova)
Saddiq Bey would be a great pickup for the Blazers, who are lacking a great player at the wing position. Bey can help Portland on both ends of the court. He is an elite three-point shooter who shot 45 percent from deep last season on over five attempts per game. Inside scoring isn’t a problem for him either, he shot over 50 percent on his two-point attempts.
On defense, Bey isn’t quite the defensive anchor that Portland would hope for but he has all the tools to be an above-average NBA defender. His 6-foot-11 frame allows him to cover a number of positions. He doesn’t get a ton of steals or blocks but he thrives as a team defender and is a very smart switcher off the pick and roll.
Bey does struggle with physicality, he averaged less than five rebounds per game and struggles to get blocks. But Bey is a polished player who could come in and immediately contribute at one of the Trail Blazer’s weakest positions.
Round 2 Pick No.46: Paul Reed, PF (DePaul)
In the second round, Portland would be wise to take a look at Paul Reed for the sole reason that he is an absolute defensive monster. Reed averaged over four combined steals plus blocks per game last season and led DePaul in basically every relevant defensive category. He has the potential to guard three and maybe even four positions in the modern NBA, a trait that is very hard to come by
Reed is also a great rebounder for his height, gobbling up over 10 per game despite being only 6-foot-9. His motor and physicality should translate well in this department in the NBA, especially since he will not be the primary rebounding threat like he was in college.
Reed has his struggles on offense although he is a capable inside scorer who can bully his way into post position. His shot is just not there yet. While he attempted the occasional long ball, his three-point percentage of 30 percent leaves much to be desired. Even still, Reed is a promising prospect who can bring defensive talent that the Trail Blazers desperately lack.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference and NBA.com
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