The Portland Trail Blazers emerged as one of the winners in the 2023 NBA Draft lottery, landing the third overall pick with an opportunity to draft either guard Scoot Henderson or wing Brandon Miller. However, trading the pick seems to be the club’s priority.
Immediately after Portland jumped up in the draft order, it immediately began shopping the third overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. While neither Henderson nor Miller are viewed on the same tier as Victor Wembanyama, both are viewed as potential franchise cornerstones a team can build around.
It puts the Trail Blazers in a position to make a decision that will significantly shape their future. They either take an all-in approach, potentially trading the pick and sacrificing the future to win now or keep it and leave the door open to trading Damian Lillard.
According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, multiple teams have inquired with Portland about both the availability of the third overall pick and the asking price. As of now, teams have found that Portland is listening to all proposals but it is comfortable keeping the selection.
If the Trail Blazers keep the pick, it means taking whichever of Henderson or Miller is still available. While Miller might be the better on-court fit alongside Lillard, Henderson is viewed as the superior prospect and provides Portland will a player to rebuild around.
For now, though, trading the pick seems to be Portland’s priority as long as the right offer is made. Keeping that in mind, we’re highlighting four teams who could be interested in acquiring the third overall selection.
Identifying 3 potential trade partners for Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers are in the market for a high-end starting forward to pair with Lillard. NBA trade rumors have connected Portland to several wings that could be made available this summer. Based on that information and additional recent reporting, here are four teams who could call the Trail Blazers about the third pick.
- Toronto Raptors: The Toronto Raptors are split regarding what direction they want to take, but the mounding trade rumors surrounding Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby suggest the roster could be overhauled. The Trail Blazers are the ideal trade partner, offering the opportunity to draft either Miller or Henderson and in exchange, they receive the high-end forward they’re seeking.
- Indiana Pacers: The Indiana Pacers want to move up and Brandon Miller is the target. He would complement Tyrese Haliburton perfectly, providing Indiana with two cornerstones to build their team around for the next five-plus seasons. The trouble for Indiana, at least in regards to trading with the Portland Trail Blazers, is a package of multiple first-round picks and young role players might not be enough unless a three-team deal can be constructed.
- Boston Celtics: The Boston Celtics coaching staff will be overhauled this summer and it might not be the only imminent change. It’s evident that Jaylen Brown isn’t happy in Boston and repeated playoff disappointments could spark change. The Celtics need a true point guard and the Portland Trail Blazers need a great wing. While more pieces would need to be involved in this deal, Brown playing alongside Lillard and Henderson being partnered with Jayson Tatum might benefit both teams.
- Brooklyn Nets: It’s been made pretty clear that the Nets aren’t trading Mikal Bridges to the Portland Trail Blazers if the offer doesn’t change. With that said, Bridges perfectly fits everything Portland is looking for and he’s playing on one of the best contracts in the NBA. If the Trail Blazers really want to be aggressive, there’s likely a price that will meet Brooklyn’s desires and the odds are even stronger if Henderson is available for the Nets.