With The 26th Pick In ESPN's Latest Mock Draft, The Blazers Select...
The Portland Trail Blazers going on an extended winning streak during the stretch run of the NBA season has been great for their chances of securing home-court advantage. And while it's a good problem to have, those wins have not been so great in terms of where Portland's first-round pick will land in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Case in point: just a few weeks ago, Jonathan Givony of ESPN, using their proprietary Basketball Power Index, had the Trail Blazers selecting Bosnian forward Dzanan Musa with the 16th overall pick. But today, thanks to their nine-game winning streak, BPI has the Trail Blazers finishing the season with the fifth-best record, and thus, the 26th overall pick. And with that pick, Givony has the Trail Blazers selecting Boise State small forward Chandler Hutchinson...
Height: 6-foot-7 | Weight: 193
Portland's wing rotation could use some added depth.
Hutchison has made significant strides with his game as a senior. He looks primed to take advantage of the lack of wings in the draft -- and the NBA in general -- this June. He has outstanding physical tools and is a much-improved ball handler and perimeter shooter.
The 6-7 senior forward out of Mission Viejo, CA is averaging 19.3 points on 47 percent shooting from the field, 35 percent shooting from three and 73 percent shooting from the free throw line, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 30.7 minutes per game for the Broncos (23-8) this season. He's already been tabbed as a potential sleeper in the 2018 Draft (whatever that means these days) and is friendly with Damian Lillard, who saw him play in a game versus Oregon earlier this season (one of Boise State's coaches, Phil Beckner, is close with Lillard thanks to their time together at Weber State).
Factor in that the Blazers are in need of help on the wing -- Givony factors in team need to his mock draft -- and President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey has shown a willingness to select players four-year players from small schools and it's not hard to see why Hutchison is slotted into this spot, even if he's previously been considered more likely to go in the second round.