Blazers

2021 NBA Draft: Trail Blazers reportedly 'expected' to buy 2nd-round pick

Blazers

Thanks to the Robert Covington and Rodney Hood acquisitions in recent seasons, the Portland Trail Blazers have no picks during the 2021 NBA Draft next week.

However, that's expected to change.

Jason Quick of The Athletic reports the Blazers "are expected to try to buy their way into a second-round pick to bolster a thin stable of youngsters consisting of Anfernee Simons, Nassir Little, and CJ Elleby."

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Since taking over decision making in Portland during 2012, Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey has never gotten a second round pick with strictly cash considerations, but he has sold multiple second-round picks: No. 41 of the 2012 NBA Draft and No. 40 of the 2013 NBA Draft.  

Olshey did send $1.2 million and a future second to select Jake Layman 47th overall in 2016. 

Quick added "under Olshey, the Blazers have flourished in the second round, drafting players such as Will Barton, Gary Trent Jr., Pat Connaughton, Allen Crabbe and Jake Layman, all who became NBA starters."

While those draft picks were hits, especially for being in the second round, the Blazers only re-signed one of those players, giving Allen Crabbe a 4-year, $75 million deal which quickly became one of the NBA's worst contracts.

Barton and Trent Jr. were traded before hitting restricted free agency for players entering unrestricted free agency, Aaron Afflalo and Norman Powell. Connaughton signed a deal barely over the minimum salary with Milwaukee where he played a crucial part in winning the 2021 NBA Championship. The Blazers elected to not match a three-year, $11.5M deal with Minnesota, electing to facilitate a sign-and-trade, getting a $1.8 trade exception and the rights to international player Bojan Dubljevic in return. 

 

Can the Blazers get another rotation player in the second round? Olshey has shown he can identify talent late in the draft, and will pay the appropriate price to acquire him.