The Portland Trail Blazers were awarded the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, but it looks like they have no plans on keeping it.
While the Blazers didn’t acquire the No. 1 pick and Victor Wembanyama, they did secure a good position in a class that has three players widely regarded as ahead of the pack.
However, Portland is in an intriguing position heading into the offseason. Damian Lillard, the franchise player, will be 33 when the 2023-24 season begins, and the organization may not be able to afford to wait on the development of a potential, even if he is highly ranked.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported league executives to expect the Blazers to heavily shop the No. 3 overall pick in June’s draft in an attempt to land a veteran piece next to Lillard.
Most view the 2023 draft as a three-player class, with Victor Wembenyama, Scoot Henderson, and Brandon Miller all projecting as future All-Stars.
With an expected $13.4 million in cap space, the Blazers will have to package a player or two in any deal to secure a key piece. If the Toronto Raptors decide to rebuild, Pascal Siakam could be a natural fit in Portland.
Even in a scenario where Portland is able to flip the No. 3 pick for a player on Siakam’s level, that’s still not a championship-caliber roster.
Given his age, Lillard has missed 77 games over the past two seasons. Top players like Jusuf Nurkić or Anfernee Simons would likely have to be included for salary-matching purposes in a trade for an All-Star.
The Blazers are likely to make whatever move they can for a player that has been as loyal as Lillard over the years.
However, the franchise would need a number of players to even see themselves as a title contender this year or next. The only way Lillard may be able to fight for a championship is him heading to another team, which is something both sides do not want.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.