May 18, 2023 - Sports

Blazers' draft pick spot leads to trade speculation

A basketball player in a red baseball cap looks into the distance.

Blazers superstar Damian Lillard. Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Trail Blazers left this week's NBA draft lottery with the No. 3 overall pick.

Why it matters: That leaves them with a big decision. Will they use their slot to add young talent to the roster or trade it for more veteran players who can build on the strengths — and desires — of superstar point guard Damian Lillard?

Driving the news: All eyes were on the chance to draft French power forward Victor Wembanyama this summer, but he is now expected to go to the San Antonio Spurs, after they got the first pick.

Context: Lillard, 32, has made it clear that he wants teammates who will help him win a championship now.

State of play: Trading the slot could net them established players who could contribute right away to a championship run.

What they're saying: It "could be great for us or somebody else, depending on how we approach this draft," Blazers general manager Joe Cronin told reporters.

  • "This is more excited than we've felt for the last few years," Tara Bowen-Biggs, host of the fan podcast "We Have A Take," told Axios. "It feels like we have options."

What's next: The draft officially begins June 22.


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