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Portland Trail Blazers 2022 NBA Draft Best Picks

By Carlos Chacon

It’s been a while since the Blazers fans were this excited for the draft after making the playoffs eight consecutive times before a disappointing 2021-22 season. But Damian Lillard and the rest of the Blazers fans fell back on their seats after losing out in the 2022 NBA Draft lottery and moved back one slot to get the No. 7 pick.

Portland’s core lineup dissolved following CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., Norman Powell, and Robert Covington’s departure from the team. Despite receiving Eric Bledsoe, Josh Hart, Elijah Huges, Joe Ingles, and Didi Louzada, the front office looks to bring in more key pieces during the rebuilding phase. That being said, we take a closer look at the three best targets for Portland and the No. 7 pick.

Top 3 Best 2022 NBA Draft Prospects for the Portland Trail Blazers’ No. 7 Pick

SF AJ Griffin – Duke

The Blazers could use offensive energy in the upcoming season, and sharpshooter AJ Griffin might just fit the bill. The youngster from Duke could play a range of roles in the NBA. He’s strong enough to slash and score in the paint, and his outside shooting is deadly. The 18-year-old does it like the pros and draws contact well. Moreover, he capitalizes on free-throw opportunities. Despite missing a chunk of playing time over the years, the fact that he remained competitive is a huge plus for his current stock value.

Griffin works at his own pace. He is not fast but sports a variety of moves that proves useful on offense. More than that, his work rate tells us that he could be a good defender with a solid frame and strength in mind. If Portland works on his finesse and mechanics, he can be an incredible separator. There’s much to be desired on defense, but the attacking numbers he offers are almost too good to pass on.

C Jalen Duren – Memphis

Showmanship is synonymous with Jalen Duren’s skill. He boasts hyper-athletic and high-flying abilities to go with his defensive instincts. The 18-year-old packs more experience than most players his age. Duren is a definite force to be reckoned with, and he could make a good pairing with Damian Lillard. He’s a natural player and likely has a bright future under the right system.

Dalen’s physicality brings him to the frontrunners of the 2022 NBA Draft class. His size and frame are likely to stand strong in pro ball. He’s explosive and maintains that sense of control and fluid movements. However, there are unknown variables that go with his name. He has an unpredictable ceiling and has plenty of work to do shooting-wise. If he can turn this around right away, Duren could find a solid duo within the Blazers’ core team.

F Jeremy Sochan – Baylor

Defense is what makes Jeremy Sochan stand out among the rest. He is a versatile defender with enough offensive skills in the bag. This could be a risky pick for any team but could pay dividends shortly. Sochan can defend all five positions, which is a great asset in one’s professional career. He can harass and use his strength to keep players on their toes. His offensive numbers are hardly a threat, but he is functional out of the pick-and-roll. The youngster provides high energy and is a possible consistent contributor for the Blazers should they go for the pick.

Sochan needs to work on his shooting to prove himself effective in pro basketball. His athleticism needs polishing but could be dangerous once sharpened. This is a project in the making, and taking the gamble might work out for a struggling Blazers squad

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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