Could The Trail Blazers No. 7 Pick Start His Rookie Year?

If the Portland Trail Blazers stay at No. 7 and pick a player, the franchise gets someone with a massive cap who could one day transform the franchise, but how much impact could that player have in his first season?

If the Blazers picked a guard like Dyson Daniels or Shaedon Sharpe, it could be tough for him to crack the starting five considering Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons (assuming he stays in Portland as a restricted free agent) already locked the start guard places.

There’s a chance Chauncey Billups could opt for a three-guard starting lineup, especially against small teams like the Golden State Warriors, but he probably wouldn’t be in the top five.

Josh Hart is expected to be the team’s three starters next season, making it unlikely that wing candidates will start next season. That means players like AJ Griffin or Bennedict Mathurin would come off the bench. Both players could flex for the spot in the starting four, but again it’s uncertain whether Billups wants to go that small.

The Blazers’ best shot at starting their rookie lottery pick is to pick a big one. Jusuf Nurkic is an unrestricted free agent who is teetering on whether or not he will be in Portland next season, which could open the door for a player like Jalen Duren to make an immediate impact. Should Nurkic stay, that would bench Duren or another big player.

The power forward position is probably the most vulnerable, but Trendon Watford will have the inside lane to start in the fours early in the season. There’s also a good chance the team are looking for an experienced power forward, possibly in a trade to complete the starting line-up. But none of this is guaranteed.

That was the main reason to swap picks as there is no obvious way for the player to help the team win big in their rookie year. That means whoever comes to Portland in draft has to get down to business and earn the job.

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