Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers had some tough luck entering the lottery room.
The Blazers only managed to land the seventh pick of this year’s NBA Draft, and their franchise cornerstone can only give a disheartened reaction upon hearing the result of their tanking this season.
Behind Lillard’s nagging abdominal injury and the shipping of their core pieces in CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Robert Covington and Larry Nance Jr., Portland crashed to the depths of Western Conference and missed the postseason for the first time since 2012. They tallied a 27-55 record and hoped to claim a high first round drafting rights to prepare them for years to come following a soft roster reset.
But things didn’t go well as planned, and the Rip City faithful can only share the same sentiments with their beloved superstar. Anxiety remains swirling about the long-term stay of Lillard in Oregon.
ESPN’s 2022 Projection has Duke forward A.J. Griffi n for the seventh pick of the Draft. As such, the Blazers might consider the lengthy swingman to fill their void in the wing upon the departure of Powell and Covington.
For the fourth time, the Orlando Magic had a fortunate evening and will select the first pick of the 2022 NBA Draft. They are being followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and the Detroit Pistons in the annual rookie selection, respectively.
The Draft features a rich, talented pool being led by Auburn’s Jabari Smith, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, Paolo Banchero of Duke, and Jaden Ivey of Purdue.
This year’s league Draft is set to happen in New York this June 23rd.