TUALATIN — The Portland Trail Blazers have drafted several proposed lottery picks ahead of the NBA draft on June 23, as well as players likely to advance to the second round or not be drafted.
Then there’s Arizona guard/forward Dalen Terry, who practiced for the Blazers Wednesday, along with two Lottery hopes, Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe and Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan.
The 6-foot-7 Terry is projected in many mock drafts to go off the board in his late teens. Some let him go early in the second round.
In any case, there’s no point in coaching Terry for the Blazers who have the number 7 unless something might be afoot.
Portland is believed to be at least trying to trade the No. 7 for a veteran player. Such a deal could include a later first-round pick coming up for Portland. This scenario could bring Terry into play for the Blazers.
Or maybe the Blazers are hoping Terry will be there when they’re on the clock with pick #36 in the second round. They also own the 51st pick in the draft.
Terry played alongside another Arizona star that the Blazers drafted during this preliminary draft process. That would be Guard Bennedict Mathurin, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, who averaged 17.7 points per game. He is expected to be available at #7 and is a much more logical choice than Terry there.
Mathurin is one of the top scorers in the draft, while Terry averaged just 8.0 points per game. But he shot 50.2% from the field and 36.4% on threes.
Terry, who also had 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists, said he was simply playing his role as a defender and moderator on a team that had many elite scorers.
“A lot of people say I’m not a goalscorer, but I feel like I’m someone who goes in and does what it takes for the team,” Terry said. “Ben averaged a lot of points… I take pride in passing the ball. I feel like I was the best passer on the team. When I pass the ball to Ben, he hits, it feels like I just hit.”
Had Terry returned to Arizona, he might have been a top scorer the next season. But he said he felt he would develop better playing in the NBA.
“I’d rather be in the NBA and go through my struggles and trials and tribulations than be in college and be the star,” said Terry, 19. “A lot of people wouldn’t say that, but I want to get through it, while I’m a little kid getting used to the game. And obviously I’ve played basketball my whole life to become an NBA player. I haven’t played basketball since I was 2 to become a college player.”
Working on his offense is a priority, although he’s confident he can get the job done.
“I feel like my offensive skills definitely need to grow,” Terry said. “But I could do a lot. Don’t let it twist.”
One thing Terry isn’t lacking in is confidence. A versatile guard/forward who is good at many things, Terry clearly thinks he could be a steal in this draft.
“I have a feeling that in 10 years there will be a rewrite and it will change,” Terry said. “No matter where they take me.”
– Aaron Fentress | afentress@Oregonian.com | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook).
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