With the NBA draft just a few weeks away, the Portland Trail Blazers hosted their first pre-draft workout Friday at their Tualatin Practice facility.
This pre-draft mini-camp hosted a few names not heavily mentioned among many college mock draft big boards.
6 prospects attended this minicamp. Arizona State guard Luguentz Dort, Wake Forest forward Jaylen Hoard, St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds, Memphis guard Jeremiah Martin, Wichita State forward Markis McDuffie and Shaw guard Amir Hinton.
None of these names may come off the page as tantalizing prospects. According to the Oregonian’s Trail Blazer beat writer Joe Freeman, of the 6 prospects in attendance Friday, only Luguentz Dort is projected to be drafted in the first round.
This isn’t the only workout the Blazers front office has been involved in. Freeman explains the Blazers staff have been to places like Phoenix, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles to attend workouts organized by player agents as well.
The Blazers are with limited cap space and only one pick in this year's draft, no. 25 overall. They are more likely to rely on developing their youngsters that are already on the roster in Anfernee Simons, Gary Trent Jr., and Zach Collins than make a selection in this year's draft that is ready to contribute next season.
One prospect the Blazers should look closely at if available while they’re on the clock come draft night, is University of Washington product Matisse Thybulle. At 6 foot 6, he would be considered undersized at the forward position but possesses a high defensive IQ to match his 7’0” wingspan.
In 4 years at the University of Washington, Thybulle averaged 9.2 points a game, shot 42% from the field and 35% from the three. He isn’t a knockdown shooter but has the ability to hit the outside shot when open as well as put the ball on the floor and attack the rim. His biggest impact comes at the defensive end.
A few other Blazer Gang contributors have their eyes on other prospects. Rip City, who are some prospects you hope the Blazers show interest leading up to the draft? Who do you have your eyes on?
Comment below with your scouting expertise.