The Portland Trail Blazers finished seventh in the 2022 NBA lottery results. They were hoping the ping pong balls would be kinder to them, but it wasn’t the case. The 37% chance of moving into the top four proved to be lower than the 30% chance that they would end up making the exact choice they made. It was the single highest probability for any given amount of time, and it did.
Portland fans are somewhat disappointed, but is all hope lost? Let’s take a look through the lens of this question submitted to Blazer’s Edge Mailbag.
I know you don’t allow swearing on Blazersedge, so just replace this with asterisks. Seventh??? What **** do now? All this for 7? Can we get a player out there that will help now? **** **** ****
You are right that this is not the outcome the Blazers were hoping for, especially after half a long season of hunting in the main lottery center.
A month ago, Portland lost out on the New Orleans pick from the CJ McCollum deal thanks to the Pelicans in the playoffs. A better score would have given them mid- to low-level lottery choices, which would increase their flexibility by 100%. But if they couldn’t have two options, the Blazers wanted their model to be a hit. you did not. They were pushed down from 6 to 7. The value distance between 7 and 3 is colossal and again, not appropriate for Portland.
Given Portland’s situation, there is little chance of them finding the perfect player with the choice they have. Ideally, they would get a “Now and Later” candidate, someone who has a clear path to stardom and can also contribute as a novice. These players usually enter the top three. Since the Blazers haven’t made it there, they will probably have to choose between now or later.
Blazers don’t have the freedom to choose based on situational need, but even choosing the “best player available” depends on your definition of “best.” Does that mean most of the NBA are ready? This is Damien Lillard, now win the schedule. Or does it mean the highest possible ceiling? This is the approach to insurance and long-term growth.
I don’t expect them to solve this puzzle by performing a choice, but not all hope is lost! They may not have to.
The seventh public pick is located in the Goldilocks trading area. It will be easier to find a “Now and Later” player among the well-known NBA merchandise than among this year’s recruits. Blazers may not get as much raw talent as they can in the draft, but when making a deal for a proven commodity, they will be confident that they can use the talent they reach to the maximum capacity.
The seventh pick is too high to be replaced by Detroit Pistons forward Jeramy Grant. If the Blazers wanted to go this route, they would probably do it another way. But it is high enough that, with the additional talent exchange, they should be able to pull a humble star or young player with a high ceiling from another team.
So empty it up, GT. This choice is still an asset. When they start checking out this year’s draft class, Portland fans will want to consider the possibility of their team picking someone else on June 23, and that help comes in the form of a trade-off in place of a rookie star.