2024 NBA Draft Ratings: How Experts Graded the Portland Trail Blazers

A roundup of the grades NBA insiders and reporters have given the Blazers for the moves they made in the 2024 NBA Draft.

PORTLAND, Ore. — With the conclusion of the first NBA draft in two rounds and two days, the Portland Trail Blazers’ 2024-25 campaign has officially begun. NBA experts are evaluating teams’ overall picks and drafts this AF, so it’s time to take a look at how the Trail Blazers fared, according to NBA media reports.

Just over an hour before the draft began, the Blazers traded the 14th overall pick, along with Malcolm Brogdon and three future picks, for Wizards forward Deni Avdija. As a result, Portland had just one pick on the first night of the NBA draft, the No. 7 pick.

With the seventh overall pick, Portland selected former UConn big man Donovan Clingan.

Clingan was seen as a consensus top-three or top-four pick, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Blazers attempted to move up in the draft to get Clingan.

Nonetheless, patience paid off and Portland was rewarded, getting their player with the No. 7 pick. Portland general manager Joe Cronin raved that Clingan was one of the best players on their team. NBA pundits tend to agree with Cronin: It was a home run pick.

RELATED: Blazers GM Joe Cronin talks drafting Donovan Clingan

Take a look at what NBA insiders are saying about the Blazers’ selection of Clingan.

Clingan was the only pick CBS Sports’ Adam Finkelstein graded as an A in the top 10.

What they said: “It’s the best possible scenario for Portland. We really talked about him being No. 1. Some teams tried to move him up. But the Blazers always wanted him, and he fell into their hands at No. 7. He’s a monster defensively with his size, rebounding and blocking, but we don’t talk enough about his offensive potential with his sliding passes and ability to put the ball on the floor. And I think the shooting could be. on our doorstep.” -Finklestein

Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek was more lenient with her grades, handing out six A grades in the top 10. Still, an A is an A no matter how you slice it.

What they said: “Clingan has all the tools to be a long-term starting center in the NBA and moves well for his 7’4″ frame. He’s more than just a big-time basket runner and can throw up a lot of different options in the pick-and-roll, whether it’s sliding, rolling to the basket, locking up his opponent or getting out for a shot.” – A look

It was one of the lowest grades from NBA experts for the Blazers, but Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley agreed it was the right choice for Portland.

What they said: “The Blazers must be excited to have Donovan Clingan here. For much of the mock draft season, they felt like the only way to get him would be to trade him, but the defensive anchor their If Clingan made an impact in an NBA game like he did at UConn, he could be a top-10 defense on his own. And Portland could use some paint protection behind them. young guards Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe who will then have some moves to make with a pair of starting caliber centers already on its roster (Deandre Ayton and Robert Williams III). , they were smart to add it to #7 and worry about the rest later. —Buckley

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ESPN’s Kevin Pelton gave the Blazers one of six A grades on his draft report card.

What they said: “After speculation that they might trade up in pursuit of Clingan, the Blazers were able to stay at the seventh pick and get my second-round prospect. Adding Clingan creates a logjam at center for Portland with starter Deandre Ayton and backup Robert Williams III returning from knee surgery. It’s less important that the Blazers get the best talent available, and Clingan stands out as a potential safety net for their young, offensive-minded perimeter players. After starting the draft with four picks, Portland ultimately went with just one after sending No. 14 to the Washington Wizards in a deal for Deni Avdija and trading both second-rounders for futures. — Pelton

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer was generous in giving 11 A grades, including one for the Blazers.

What they said: “The Blazers are building a defensive plan. After trading for perimeter ace Deni Avdija earlier tonight, Portland has picked up its anchor. If Walker Kessler and Dereck Lively II hadn’t already proven the NBA viability of a drop big over the past two seasons, Clingan will do just as well. His college track record is historic. A two-time national champion. Truly one of the best rim protectors the college game has ever seen. Clingan has the same potential downside as any player of his ilk, but if his drop-coverage ability transfers to the NBA, his defensive presence could immediately change the Blazers’ fortunes in the regular season. Not much more, hopefully nothing less. There’s nothing more certain about this draft, if only because what you see is what you get.” -O’Connor

The second round of the NBA draft took place a day later, with Portland trading away both of its picks that came into the evening.

The Blazers traded the 34th pick this year to the New York Knicks in exchange for three future second-round picks.

Portland then passed around its next pick like a Thanksgiving turkey, through a series of trades, acquiring the 52nd pick in this year’s draft and then trading it to Golden State. The Blazers received cash considerations from the Thunder and Warriors for those picks.

In summary, Portland finished the day with zero second-round picks.

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