The national media predicts the Portland Trail Blazers draft…

Mock drafts galore

The 2013 NBA offseason is going to be a big one for the Portland Trail Blazers. With money to spend, free agency will be a hot topic around PDX, but with the draft lottery up first, the focus is on rookie prospects and which player will best fit come June.

In today’s day and age of social media and the ever-expanding blogosphere, everybody and their mother has a mock draft. It’s tough to keep track of who is projecting what, which is why we’ve got you covered.

*Mock Drafts are accurate as of May 17, 2013.

Alex Len, C

Alex Len will go to Portland, according to (Photo: US Presswire)

Alex Len will go to Portland, according to (Photo: US Presswire)

  • SI.Com: Chris Mannix
  • NBA Draft Guru
  • Hoopsworld
  • NBA Prospects

It’s no secret that the Blazers need a center, and the national media has jumped on that fact when it comes to mock drafts.

Len is a 7’1” big man out of Mayrland. Truthfully, he’s going to be a tough player for the Blazers to land, as he’s projected by many outlets to be drafted somewhere between the top 5 and the top 10—a place Portland would have to trade up to using its current No. 10 pick (pre-lottery).

The center should remind fans of Meyers Leonard at this point, as he has the skills to pass out of the high post and score in the mid-range.

Kelly Olynyk, C

  • Hoopstuff: Mike
  • The Hoops Report
  • Hoopshype

Sticking with the center theme, Gonzaga big man Kelly Olynyk makes his way back to the Great Northwest in a few national mock drafts. As a true seven-footer, Okynyk would provide the Blazers with a ton of energy on both sides of the floor. He definitely needs to work on his strength and technique to excel in the NBA, but you can teach those things—you can’t teach height.

Olynyk is another player who can help spread the floor with his perimeter game. I’m not sure that’s the kind of big man that LaMarcus Aldridge is hoping to play alongside, but if the Blazers deem him worthy of a lottery pick, the power forward will have to continue mimicking the center position while Olynyk develops.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG

  • ESPN: Chad Ford 2.0
  • MY NBA Draft

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has seen his draft stock rise the closer we get to the draft itself.

That’s good news for the 2-guard, but it makes him a risk for teams in the top 10 willing to take a chance.

As a deadly shooter, Caldwell-Pope would give the Blazers depth at the 2-guard position—something it desperately needs—and another threat on the perimeter. His draft placement ranges from late top 10 to a later lottery selection, meaning he should be on the table if Portland falls in love.

Cody Zeller, C

  • Hoopstuff: Brandon
  • NBA Draft Room

Another center? You bet.

Cody Zeller has watched himself fall in mock drafts over the last year. He went from a top-5 hopeful in 2012 to a mid-to-late-lottery prospect in 2013. The Blazers would have looked at him with No. 6 last year, and now they’ll look at him again with No. 10.

Shabazz Muhammad should both scare and excite fans in Portland.

Shabazz Muhammad should both scare and excite fans in Portland.

In mock drafts spread across the internet, Zeller’s range is wide. Some believe he has the basketball IQ and a strong enough skill set to make up for his lack of physicality, and at 6’11”, 210 pounds, the national media thinks he’s worthy of the Blazers’ first-round pick.

Shabazz Muhammad, SF

  • Draft Express
  • CBS: Jeff Goodman
  • Crossover
  • Sporting News

This is the name that should excite fans in Rip City. However, it’s also the name that should scare the life out of a rebuilding franchise.

Shabazz Muhammad might be the best player in the draft when it comes to talent alone. He’s strong and physical at the small forward position, and scouts recognize that he’s a dangerous scorer, and likely will be at any level.

If he’s available at No. 10, the Blazers would be hard-pressed to not snatch him up. That said, there’s a reason nine teams might pass on him in the NBA draft.

Despite being able to score, he struggles in isolation situations. He’s a bit too dependent on his left hand, and he may be forced to slide down to the 2-guard spot because of his size and athleticism.

There’s also the issue with his birth certificate, which could be an indication of character issues if you look too far in to it.

ESPN has him ranked as the 11th best prospect, but a number of mock drafts have him going before Portland selects at 10th overall.


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About Bryant Knox

NWSB Editor. Portland native and Oregon graduate, On a non-stop mission to consume as much Ducks+Trail Blazers content as humanly possible. His love of sports is what attracts him to the game, passion for writing drives him to uncover the stories. Connect w/ Bryant today!
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