It’s mid-June, and the arrival of summer weather in the Pacific Northwest bodes well for Rip City. Portland Trail Blazers fans have basically been anticipating the 2022 NBA draft ever since Damian Lillard went under the knife, with a small reprieve when they picked just their seventh overall pick in the lottery and a major burst of excitement after they beat Jerami Grant for a package centered around Milwaukee’s 2025 first-timers.
Here’s what’s known so far, what’s needed on the Blazers side, and what could take place.
Portland now has its seventh overall winner. With the addition of Jerami Grant now thrown into the formula, what’s your best route going forward?
The next step in the Portland Trail Blazers’ offseason plans will be announced on NBA Draft Day 2022
Most people expect an announcement that the selection has traded. But with the addition of Grant, is there still a need to trade it? Even after the trading Wednesday, the rumor mill is churning. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported that the Blazers and Kentucky’s Shaedon Sharpe could have significant mutual interest.
“He’s been training for the Trail Blazers (and the Pacers) and I believe he was supposed to be training for the Pelicans, but that practice was canceled. There are people who think he might have gotten a promise.”
Despite the heat that surrounded Sharpe and Dyson Daniels early in the preliminary draft process, it could all be a smoke screen to disguise the Blazers’ true intentions of deferring their choice to a more established talent, a different draft compensation, or a combination of both.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have been rumored to be interested in a swap deal to improve their chances of picking Baylor’s Jeremy Sochan. A plausible package would revolve around their 12th overall winner and Luguentz Dort.
Sending the 7th pick to OKC for Dort and the 12th pick would honestly be a huge waste of a lottery pick in my humble opinion. There’s another relatively unknown player, and one player the Blazers don’t need. He’s too small for a wing-back, a deficit his talent could overcome at this end of the pitch. His inefficiency as a goalscorer would also be a problematic complement to Jerami Grant, who is essentially a larger, more established version of the same player.
In theory, grabbing another veteran player to move down the draft is a good idea, but there are better deals out there than what OKC has to offer. Perhaps Portland could land John Collins and the 16th pick from the Atlanta Hawks, or Kelly Oubre and either her 13th or 15th pick from the Charlotte Hornets. Both players would fit better alongside Dame, Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant and Jusuf Nurkic.
Finally, the Blazers could also use the number seven in a package to land a significant talent to help them in their title hunt next season. They have reportedly been stalking the Toronto Raptors’ OG Anunoby and have shown no signs of slowing down after taking over from Grant.
The Trail Blazers have plenty of options to enter the 2022 NBA Draft and offer their fans plenty of drama and intrigue. Tune in tonight at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on ABC and ESPN for the next step in the Blazers’ offseason plans.