The San Antonio Spurs were the biggest winners of the 2023 NBA Draft lottery last night. For the third time in the last 35 years, their franchise has the #1 overall selection. Moving up two spots to get the third overall pick were the Portland Trail Blazers. Reports say the Trail Blazers could hold a bidding war for the third overall pick.
Portland’s GM Joe Cronin calls the third overall pick “significant” for the Blazers or another team. The Trail Blazers were extremely lucky to move into the top three last night. They were originally slotted to be selected fifth overall. After the 2023 Draft lottery in Chicago last night, Cronin said the Blazers are somewhat open to taking offers for the third pick.
It will be interesting to see what the Blazers do in the next month before the NBA Draft on June 22. Veteran PG Damian Lillard said he is not interested in playing with another player who is two-to-three years away.
The general manager of the Portland Trailblazers anticipates receiving numerous calls for the third pick
“We’re a team that’s trying to win and trying to maximize Damian’s timeline.”
(Via Yahoo Sports) pic.twitter.com/Ebp1sDnMMd
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 17, 2023
Portland expects to receive numerous calls for the third pick
Ultimately, the Blazers know they need to build the best roster possible if they want to retain Damian Lillard this off-season. Portland was lucky that the Charlotte Hornets won the #2 overall pick. Scoot Henderson is regarded as the second-best prospect in this draft after Victor Wembanyama.
Sources around the league say that the Hornets do not see Henderson as a good fit for their team. They could take someone like Brandon Miller instead, leaving Henderson available at three. That’s where the Blazers could start getting flooded with calls about trying to trade up for the #3 pick.
ESPN mock drafts have the Hornets selecting Brandon Miller, leaving Henderson available at #3. From Joe Cronin’s quotes last night, the Blazers are still undecided about what their strategy is going to be moving forward. Portland’s front office has just over a month to see what route they want to take with the #3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.