Portland Trail Blazers Draft Picks 2023: Complete Round-by-Round List of NBA Blazers

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The Portland Trail Blazers (colloquially known as the Blazers) are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Western Conference Northwest Division. The team played its home games in the Memorial Coliseum before moving to the Moda Center in 1995 (called the Rose Garden until 2013). The franchise entered the league as an expansion team in 1970, and has enjoyed a strong following: from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American major professional sports at the time, and which has only since been surpassed by the Boston Red Sox. The Trail Blazers are the only NBA team based in the Pacific Northwest, after the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001 and the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA championship once in 1977. Their other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 37 seasons of their 51-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003, tied for the second longest streak in NBA history. The Trail Blazers’ 34 playoff appearances rank third in the NBA only behind the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs since the team’s inception in 19706. Six Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers ( Lenny Wilkens, Bill Walton, Clyde Drexler, Dražen Petrović, Arvydas Sabonis, and Scottie Pippen). Bill Walton is the franchise’s most decorated player; he was the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 1977, and the regular season MVP the following year. Four Blazers’ rookies ( Geoff Petrie, Sidney Wicks, Brandon Roy and Damian Lillard) have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Three players have earned the Most Improved Player award: Kevin Duckworth (1988), Zach Randolph (2004), and CJ McCollum (2016). Three Hall of Fame coaches – Lenny Wilkens, Jack Ramsay, and Rick Adelman – have patrolled the sidelines for the Blazers, and two others, Mike Schuler and Mike Dunleavy, have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award with the team.

History: The NBA draft is an annual event dating back to 1947 in which the teams from the National Basketball Association (NBA) can draft players who are eligible and wish to join the league. Historically, the vast majority of players drafted are college players. Collegiate players dominated the NBA draft for decades since its inception in 1950. From 1995–2005, NBA teams drafted a slew of just-graduated high school standouts like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, Tracy McGrady and Amar’e Stoudemire. To counteract this, the NBA implemented an age requirement in July of 2005. The draft usually takes place near the end of June, during the NBA offseason. Since 1989, the draft has consisted of two rounds; this is much shorter than the entry drafts of the other major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, all of which run at least seven rounds. Sixty players are selected in each draft.

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Players Here is a list of players that were selected by or traded to Portland Trail Blazers in their 2023 NBA draft picks:

Round 1 (No.3) Scoot Henderson (PG): He was picked by Portland Trail Blazers as their third overall pick. He is a dynamic point guard who played for G League Ignite. He averaged 16.6 points, 6.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game in his lone season with Ignite.

Round 1 (No.23) Kris Murray (SF): He was picked by Portland Trail Blazers as their 23rd overall pick. He is a versatile forward who played for Iowa. He averaged 13.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 46% from three-point range in his junior season with Iowa.

Round 2 (No.43) Rayan Rupert (PG): He was picked by Portland Trail Blazers as their 43rd overall pick. He is a French point guard who played for NZ Breakers. He averaged 8.2 points, 4.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game in his rookie season with NZ Breakers.

The Portland Trail Blazers have been one of the most consistent teams in the NBA, making the playoffs in eight consecutive seasons. However, they have also struggled to advance past the first round, losing in six of those eight appearances. To improve their chances of competing for a championship, the Trail Blazers have tried to find quality players in the NBA draft, especially in the later picks where they usually select. 

Here are their last five top draft picks and their Grades:

  • 2022: Greg Brown III (No. 43 overall): The Trail Blazers traded a future second-round pick to the New Orleans Pelicans to acquire the rights to Brown, a 6-foot-9 forward with elite athleticism and potential. Brown averaged 9.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game as a freshman at Texas, but he also struggled with his shooting (33% from the field, 28% from three-point range) and decision-making (2.3 turnovers per game). Brown is a raw prospect who will need time to develop his skills and IQ, but he could become a valuable contributor if he can harness his physical tools and energy. Grade: B
  • 2021: CJ Elleby (No. 46 overall): The Trail Blazers selected Elleby, a 6-foot-6 wing from Washington State, with their only pick in the 2021 draft. Elleby was a productive scorer in college, averaging 18.4 points per game as a sophomore while shooting 39% from beyond the arc. He also showed some defensive versatility and rebounding ability, averaging 1.8 steals and 7.8 boards per game. Elleby did not see much action in his rookie season with the Trail Blazers, appearing in only 30 games and averaging 2.3 points in 8.6 minutes per game. He will need to improve his strength, ball-handling and consistency to earn more playing time in the future. Grade: C+
  • 2020: Nassir Little (No. 25 overall): The Trail Blazers were fortunate to land Little, a former top-five recruit, with the 25th pick in the 2020 draft. Little had a disappointing freshman season at North Carolina, averaging only 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while coming off the bench. However, he still had the physical profile and talent of a lottery pick, with a 6-foot-6 frame, a 7-foot-1 wingspan and explosive athleticism. Little showed some flashes of his potential in his rookie season with the Trail Blazers, averaging 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game while shooting 50% from the field and 36% from three-point range. He also displayed some defensive intensity and versatility, guarding multiple positions and blocking shots. Little will need to work on his shooting consistency, ball-handling and decision-making to become a more reliable offensive player, but he has the upside to be a valuable two-way wing for the Trail Blazers. Grade: B+
  • 2019: Anfernee Simons (No. 24 overall): The Trail Blazers drafted Simons, a 6-foot-4 guard who skipped college and played at IMG Academy, with the 24th pick in the 2019 draft. Simons was one of the youngest players in his draft class, but he also had one of the highest ceilings, with elite athleticism, scoring ability and shooting range. Simons had a limited role in his rookie season with the Trail Blazers, averaging only 3.8 points in 7 minutes per game while shooting 35% from the field and 25% from three-point range. However, he improved significantly in his second season, averaging 8.3 points in 20.7 minutes per game while shooting 40% from the field and 34% from three-point range. He also won the Slam Dunk Contest at the All-Star Weekend, showcasing his incredible hops and creativity. Simons has shown that he can be a spark plug off the bench for the Trail Blazers, but he will need to improve his playmaking, defense and consistency to become a more complete player and earn more trust from his coaches and teammates. Grade: B
  • 2018: Zach Collins (No. 10 overall): The Trail Blazers traded up from the No. 15 pick to the No. 10 pick to select Collins, a 7-foot center from Gonzaga, in the 2018 draft. Collins was a key contributor for Gonzaga’s run to the national championship game as a freshman, averaging 10 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting 65% from the field and 48% from three-point range. Collins had a solid rookie season with the Trail Blazers, averaging 4.4 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game while providing some rim protection and floor spacing off the bench. He improved his numbers in his second season, averaging 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game while starting in 11 games. However, he suffered a shoulder injury that limited him to only 11 games in the 2019-20 season, and then a foot injury that sidelined him for the entire 2020-21 season. Collins has shown some promise as a versatile big man who can stretch the floor, defend the paint and pass the ball, but he has also been plagued by injuries and inconsistency. He will be a restricted free agent this summer, and his future with the Trail Blazers is uncertain. Grade: C

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Q: Who did the Trail Blazers select with the third overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft?

A: The Trail Blazers selected Scoot Henderson, a 6-foot-2 guard from the G League Ignite. Henderson was a five-star recruit who ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the high school Class of 2022. He finished his high school credits early and signed a seven-figure deal to play for the Ignite at the age of 17, making him the youngest professional basketball player in United States history.

Q: What are the strengths and weaknesses of Scoot Henderson’s game?

A: Henderson is a dynamic and explosive athlete who can play both guard positions. He has solid size, strength and length for his position, and he can create his own shot or set up his teammates with his playmaking and vision. He is also a tenacious defender who can pressure the ball and disrupt passing lanes. However, Henderson needs to improve his shooting consistency, especially from the three-point range. He also needs to work on his decision-making and ball-handling, as he can be turnover-prone at times.

Q: Who did the Trail Blazers select with the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft?

A: The Trail Blazers selected Kris Murray, a 6-foot-8 forward from Iowa. Murray is the twin brother of Keegan Murray, who was drafted by the Sacramento Kings with the 18th overall pick. Kris Murray had an outstanding junior year with the Hawkeyes, averaging 20.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He shot 47.6% from the field, including 33.5% from beyond the arc.

Q: What are the strengths and weaknesses of Kris Murray’s game?

A: Murray is a versatile and skilled forward who can play multiple positions. He has a high basketball IQ and a smooth shooting stroke. He can score in different ways, from post-ups to mid-range jumpers to three-pointers. He is also a solid rebounder and a willing passer. However, Murray needs to improve his strength and athleticism, as he can struggle against bigger and faster opponents. He also needs to work on his defense, especially on the perimeter.

Q: Who did the Trail Blazers select with the 43rd overall pick in the 2023 NBA draft?

A: The Trail Blazers selected Rayan Rupert, a 6-foot-7 forward from France. Rupert played for the New Zealand Breakers in the NBL last season, averaging 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game. He also represented France at the FIBA U19 World Cup in Latvia, where he averaged 11.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

Q: What are the strengths and weaknesses of Rayan Rupert’s game?

A: Rupert is a long and athletic forward who can play both ends of the floor. He has a 7-foot-2 wingspan and a quick first step, which allow him to finish at the rim or block shots. He is also a capable ball-handler and passer, who can initiate offense or find open teammates. However, Rupert needs to improve his shooting consistency, especially from long range. He also needs to work on his strength and aggressiveness, as he can be passive or timid at times.

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