Portland Trail Blazers NBA Mock Draft Roundup

Leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft, we will update our Portland Trail Blazers Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Portland Trail Blazers from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Blazers:

The Rookie Wire — Cody Taylor (5/19)

3. Brandon Miller, Alabama

It was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on Tuesday during the draft lottery that teams are not finding anything to disqualify Miller as a high pick this year after his involvement in the shooting of a 23-year-old woman in January. In fact, they believe Miller is mature and focused and believe his character is an asset.

On the court, Miller projects to check many boxes and figures to be a welcomed addition to the Trail Blazers. He has good size and is the prototypical wing player that teams covet with his ability to space the floor and score at the rim. The All-American appears to be locked in as a top-three pick at this stage of the pre-draft process.

23. Rayan Rupert, New Zealand Breakers

Rupert, who was born in France, is an intriguing prospect due to his potential on defense. He boasts a 7-foot, 2-inch wingspan that often helps him create havoc in the passing lanes. He also has great athleticism and can move his feet quickly. On the other end, he has shown the ability to penetrate into the paint and kick it out when necessary. However, he will need to improve his shot, but with some development on that end, Rupert could be a potential steal at this stage of the draft.

CBS Sports — Gary Parrish (5/17)

3. Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

If Miller goes second, odds are Henderson will go third. The G-League Ignite product has the athleticism and strength to be a franchise-changing lead guard as long as his still-developing 3-point shot eventually becomes reliable.

23. Dariq Whitehead, Duke

Whitehead had an underwhelming one season at Duke, where he only averaged 8.3 points per game. But he did shoot 42.4% from 3-point range as a 6-7 wing, and at this point in the draft he's worth a flyer even though he's expected to soon have another procedure performed on his injured right foot.

Sporting News — Kyle Irving (5/17)

3. Brandon Miller, Alabama

The Trail Blazers will gladly select whoever is still on the board between Henderson and Miller. Henderson would immediately become the heir apparent to take over for Damian Lillard once the 32-year-old guard's time is up. Miller would be a more immediate asset alongside Lillard, giving Portland some much-needed shooting on the wing.

Miller emerged as the NCAA's best prospect this season, posting averages of 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.9 blocks per game while shooting 38.4 percent from 3-point range. Miller didn't show out on the March Madness stage the way he was expected to, but a nagging groin injury certainly played a role in his struggles.

He has all the tools to one day be a franchise's leading scorer.

23. Dariq Whitehead, Duke

The Trail Blazers took a big swing on a high-upside prospect like Shaedon Sharpe last year, and it seems to have paid off after a strong rookie season. It wouldn't surprise me if they look to do the same with Whitehead with their second first-round pick.

Whitehead's freshman campaign was littered with injuries — he dealt with a fractured foot to begin the year and a lower leg injury later in the season. He never seemed to get into a rhythm for Duke, failing to take on the lead scoring role that was expected of him once head coach Jon Scheyer landed the five-star recruit.

Even with a disappointing season, Whitehead still declared for the draft because his potential is clear. He shot a promising 42.9 percent from 3 and showed flashes as a three-level scoring threat. Whitehead could be a buy-low steal for a team in the late first round.

The Athletic — Sam Vecenie (5/16)

3. Brandon Miller, Alabama

The Scout: Miller was one of the best players in college basketball this past season. He averaged 19 points and nine rebounds and was even more dominant in SEC play. During conference play, he averaged 20 points while shooting 49 percent and 38 percent from 3. Miller showcased just about everything teams look for from big wing creators. He's a terrific high-volume shooter, having made a high percentage from 3 on over seven attempts per game. He can handle the ball out of ball screens and string out mismatches, attack the basket and finish at the rim. Defensively, he's a switchable player who isn't quite an impact player on that end, but he's not going to get hunted. In high school, Miller was also seen as something of a midrange maestro with the ability to rise up and knock down shots in the middle of the court. Around the league, Miller is seen as a potential high-end offensive weapon who can be a top-two option long term on a good NBA team.

The Fit: Obviously, the Blazers will be disappointed not to win the lottery, but Miller would be an awesome consolation prize. He'll be able to step in immediately as a useful player next to Lillard if the Blazers continue to go down the road of building around their longtime superstar point guard. Miller's floor-spacing should be able to get him on the floor early, and his shot creation would be a perfect fit next to Jerami Grant's athleticism. Even if the Blazers do decide to go in a different direction, Miller is a perfect long-term running partner for Shaedon Sharpe on the wing, with Sharpe's explosive athleticism complementing Miller's skilled shot making. It works across the board. One note, though: The Blazers love to draft for upside. This is a front office, going back to when Joe Cronin was an assistant GM, that loves betting on youth. Their picks last year with Cronin in the top chair didn't change that. Think Anfernee Simons, Sharpe, Jabari Walker, Greg Brown, Nassir Little and Zach Collins. All of these guys were teenagers when the Blazers took them. There are some hits and some misses there, certainly. But the value has exceeded the draft slot for the most part.

23. Noah Clowney, Alabama

The Scout: NBA personnel on the team side love guys who are big, young, defensively-conscious and have potential to shoot. Clowney ticks just about every single one of those boxes. He played this entire season at 18 years old, he's 6-10 with about a 7-3 wingspan, and he covers ground on the defensive end at a really high level. He rebounds. And he took over four 3-point attempts per game this past season. Now, Clowney did not make a ton of those 3s (28 percent) but the shot is clean and workable. I'm not quite as high on him as the rest of the NBA, as I worry a little bit about him guarding in space with how high his hips are and how he is able to cut off guards. But he has great help instincts, and as his body fills out, I wonder if he can keep improving his mobility overall. He's a first-round talent. He'll just take some time.

The Fit: The Blazers adore these types of players, as mentioned above. Clowney would fit right into their tradition of taking younger players and giving them time and space to develop, regardless of what their impending decision is on Damian Lillard and if they continue to build around him.

Yahoo! Sports — Krysten Peek (5/16)

3. Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

Henderson is the best point guard in this draft class and will have the easiest transition to the NBA after playing in the G League the past two seasons with the same NBA rules and spacing. Henderson looks like a complete unit and has clearly worked on his body during the pre-draft process. He has also been working out with Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry to gear up for the draft. Henderson is a combination of Russell Westbrook and a healthy Derrick Rose with how explosive he is getting downhill, his passing and the way he finishes at the rim.

23. Kris Murray, Iowa

Murray is the twin brother of Sacramento Kings forward Keegan Murray, who was drafted with the fourth overall pick in last year's draft. The Iowa forward showed a lot of improvement over the last two seasons and capped off his junior year with first-team All-Big Ten honors. His defense is what separates him from other forwards in this draft class, being able to guard multiple positions.

Bleacher Report — Jonathan Wasserman (5/16)

3. Brandon Miller, Alabama

Landing the No. 3 pick should spark debate inside Portland's front office.

Presumably, the Blazers' preference would be trading the right to draft Henderson or Miller for an established star to pair alongside Damian Lillard. But it also may be a good opportunity for a fresh start. The Blazers could get a significant haul of young talent to pair with Henderson or Miller, along with Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe.

Miller's scoring and shot-making does fit smoothly at the 3 in Portland. He'd start right away and provide immediate shooting and some bonus two-way playmaking.

If Miller goes No. 2, then it seems even more likely Portland trades.

23. Dereck Lively II, Duke

The Blazers figure to show interest in Lively purely for his rim protection, which seems likely to translate based on his elite length and 12.7 block percentage. Though he's limited offensively, he'd still serve as a useful high-percentage finishing and lob target.

SB Nation — Ricky O'Donnell (5/16)

3. Amen Thompson, Overtime Elite

Twins Amen and Ausar Thompson feel like the biggest wildcards of the 2023 NBA Draft after they bypassed more traditional routes for the upstart Overtime Elite league — but passing on them in the top-five might be even riskier than taking them. We'll give Amen the slight edge over his brother because of his playmaking potential as a lead guard. At 6'7 with a 7-foot wingspan, Thompson has the size of a wing and the skill of a guard, and will be one of the five most athletic players in the league next season. He has incredible speed in the open floor and a blazing first step to draw two defenders to the ball, and at times he'll have some truly creative passing flashes. Thompson is also a remarkable leaper around the basket, but he still needs to improve as a finisher when he's not dunking it. His intersection of size, speed, leaping, passing, and defensive versatility gives him sky-high upside, but he's a rough outside shooter who will essentially be starting from scratch with his three-point shot. He'd be a gamble at No. 3, but he has more upside than any player left on the board.

23. Emoni Bates, Eastern Michigan

Bates will go down as one of the most infamous prospects of his generation regardless of his NBA career turns out. At 15 years old, Bates was being called "the next Kevin Durant" for his combination of size and shooting. His winding high school path led him to enroll at Memphis as a 17-year-old, where his turnovers, inefficient scoring, and injuries ultimately pushed him out of the rotation. He landed with his hometown Eastern Michigan program and put up big scoring numbers on a terrible team, but there are still serious questions about how his game will translate to the next level. Bates does have a few things going for him, namely: size (6'10), shooting, and youth. The guess here is some team will find him intriguing enough to take in the first round.

CBS Sports — Kyle Boone (5/16)

3. Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

Maybe not the most seamless fit next to Damian Lillard, but Henderson's the clear top prospect available here for the Trail Blazers.

23. Dariq Whitehead, Duke

Whitehead had a topsy-turvy season at Duke and didn't quite live up to expectations as a five-star, consensus top-five recruit, in part because of injuries and inconsistencies that resulted from that. ESPN reported that his preseason right foot injury did not heal properly and requires a follow-up procedure, so teams will want to make sure his medicals check out.

For the Win — Bryan Kalbrosky (5/16)

3. Scoot Henderson, G League Ignite

Despite playing against the toughest professional competition, G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson averaged 16.5 points while also adding 5.4 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game.

He may live in the shadow of Wembanyama, who is still the heavy favorite to hear his name called at No. 1 overall. But even Wembanyama has said that Henderson would be the NBA's top prospect in any other class.

23. Kris Murray, Iowa

Iowa's Kris Murray would have benefited from a stronger performance in the NCAA men's tournament, but it's still worth noting that he had an excellent season. The All-Big Ten forward finished the season averaging 20.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game.

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