After landing the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, the Trail Blazers may be looking to make a deal.
According to reports from both Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report/TNT and Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Blazers are likely to explore the idea of trading their pick for a win-now veteran to help out star guard Damian Lillard.
GM Joe Cronin alluded to as much.
“We’re a team that’s trying to win and trying to maximize Damian’s timeline. This was an important night for us,” Cronin told Fischer from the draft lottery. “Front offices around the league think highly of this draft, so you would think that a lot of teams that were sitting [on stage] tonight will be getting a lot of calls from teams trying to move up and maneuver.”
Either Alabama forward Brandon Miller or G League Ignite guard Scoot Henderson are expected to be available at No. 3 — depending on which goes second overall behind French center Victor Wembanyama at No. 1 to the Spurs.
Cronin suggested that whoever remains will undoubtedly draw interest.
“[The third pick] is significant,” he said, via Haynes. “There’s going to be some really good players at three that could be great for us or somebody else, depending on how we approach this draft.”
Meanwhile, there has been some talk that Lillard may be available in trades, but Haynes refuted that idea, citing sources who indicate Lillard and the Blazers “are on the same page.
"Moving up to #3 is a big win for our organization"
— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) May 17, 2023