Portland Trail Blazers’ decision in 2023 NBA Draft will impact next 5 years

Damian Lillard (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images) /

The next five years for the Portland Trail Blazers will be decided at the 2023 NBA Draft. 

The Portland Trail Blazers have a huge decision to make.

The Blazers currently hold the 3rd overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Roughly 24 hours away, it’s still not clear what exactly Portland will do with the pick. There have been rumors left and right about who they could pick, or who they could trade for the pick. Regardless of the outcome, whatever path Portland chooses will greatly impact the franchise’s next five years.

Damian Lillard has been in Portland his whole career. He’s about to enter his 12th year in the NBA and, from all indications, he wants to compete for a championship. Dame has made it pretty clear he doesn’t want to do any more rebuilding; it’s either they trade the pick for a star or he might finally request a trade.

The problem is even if they get a great player by trading the 3rd pick, the rest of the roster doesn’t seem like a championship-level one.

In fact, it actually seems like a perfect time to do the opposite of what Dame proposes. Let him go, keep the 3rd pick, and rebuild with another young point guard Scoot Henderson who looks like the perfect long-term replacement. Plus, the haul you can still get for Lillard after a career season is at an all-time high.

Since the Blazers were awarded the 3rd pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, there have been constant contradictory rumors, whether it’s about Dame leaving or that the Blazers will keep the pick.

Now it seems Portland could keep the pick, even though Lillard has said countless times he doesn’t want them to retain whoever they draft.

It will be interesting to see if Portland keeps the pick and drafts Scoot or Brandon Miller, what will Dame’s reaction be? Would he follow through on the trade demand that many believe could be coming if this is in fact what happens? Would the Blazers attempt to persuade him to stay and believe in the ability of a rookie to make such a big impact in his first year?

Next. NBA Trade Rumors: 12 Surprise big names that could be moved on draft night. dark

Either way, if they keep the pick or trade it, it will dictate much of what the franchise will do for the next five years. The next 48 hours or so in Portland will define so much when it comes to the future of the franchise.