One Of ESPN's First Mock Drafts Of The Season Has The Trail Blazers Selecting...

by Casey Holdahl
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The 2018 NBA Draft isn't scheduled to take place for another six months, so in many respects, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to pay much of attention to where players who may or may not make themselves eligible for the draft might end up at this point in the season. But with the NCAA basketball season already underway, NBA teams are already on the road doing their due dilligence in terms of scouting, which means front office opinions about the 2018 class are already starting to take shape. Given that, it's not entirely ridiculous to peruse the latest mock drafts to see where some of the people who follow NCAA and international basketball closely to see where the top prospects might start their NBA careers.

Jonathan Givony, formerly of DraftExpress and now with ESPN, has put together an early mock draft, and with the 18th overall pick (he's using ESPN's Basketball Power Index to estimate final regular-season records, and thus, draft position), he's got the Portland Trail Blazers going local by taking freshman shooting guard Troy Brown out of the University of Oregon...

The Blazers don't have much depth on the wing and could be looking to upgrade at that spot this summer.

Brown is one of the most versatile players in the freshman class, with his ability to defend multiple positions, rebound and make plays for others, even if Oregon has been somewhat disappointing so far.

A five-star recruit out of Las Vegas, Brown is averaging 11.7 points on 46 percent shooting from the field and 30 percent shooting from three, 7.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals in 27.1 minutes per game this season for Dana Altman's squad in Eugene. However, he did not play in Oregon's most recent game, a 73-70 loss to Boise State on December 1.