Before diving into this selection, it’s worth mentioning that I think this pick could be on the move on or before draft night. Several teams have already been reported to be suitors for a trade that includes this pick in the package, one of the most recent being the Atlanta Hawks. We aren’t accounting for any trades in this mock draft, however, and the Trail Blazers would have several possible options at this spot if the draft shook out like this.
In this case, I have the Trail Blazers selecting Iowa’s Keegan Murray, who is likely one of the safest and most NBA-ready players at this point in the draft. For a team that is looking to quickly rebuild around Damian Lillard, adding a fluid transition athlete and knockdown 3-point shooter in Murray would be a smart decision. If the Trail Blazers are interested in compromising on some of Murray’s offense for more defensive upside, I think Johnny Davis, Dyson Daniels, Jalen Duren, and Jeremy Sochan will all be options on the table as well.
Additionally, for what it's worth, the Trail Blazers recently hired ESPN’s Mike Schmitz as an Assistant General Manager, who very publicly had Murray as a top-five prospect in the draft. That will likely hold a lot of weight in the Trail Blazers’ decision on draft night, and if they could get their hands on Murray without having to trade up, it could be a very quick decision for the organization.