Usually moving up 2 picks isn’t breaking news or ideally an intelligent move to make just weeks prior to the Draft unless a team is acquiring the top overall selection or you are getting a franchise player going forward.
The latter seems to be the case for the Portland Trailblazers as they are clearly targeting University of Florida model shooting guard Brad Beal, whom as an All SEC 1st Team selection as a freshman, many predict is the second coming of future NBA Hall of Famer Ray Allen. Beal is a 6‘5 guard with excellent size (210lbs), and a sweet stroke, that came on late in his lone season with the Gators, averaging 14.8 ppg, 6.7 rebs, and 2.2 assists in helping lead Florida to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tourney. Beal is the former 2011 Gatorade HS Player of the Year.
According to a tweet by a reliable inside source late Saturday evening, the two sides are hard at work proposing a deal that would send Portland’s #6 and #11 picks to Cleveland for the Cavs #4 and #24 selections.
According to our most recent Mock Draft, Portland would be sending players of the quality of Andre Drummond and Austin Rivers to play alongside last season’s ROY winner Kyrie Irving, forming a very potent trio of young superstars going forward. The deal makes sense for Cleveland as they are still realistically a few years away from contending or even becoming a Playoff team.
For Portland, they have been snake bit in the draft in recent years as former #1 overall selection Greg Oden has never panned out due to injuries and former franchise player and fellow Lottery pick Brandon Roy was forced to retire due to a degenerative knee condition a season ago. The Blazers obviously covet the near 7 foot Andre Drummond, but have to be leery of drafting another elite big with monster potential like Oden.
From a team perspective, the move also helps Portland as they are also in a rebuilding mode, albeit with a few key pieces already in place like potential All Star LaMarcus Aldridge and proven scorer Wes Mathews but may lose a talented portion of their roster in free agency this Summer with players like Ray Felton, Jamal Crawford, Nicolas Batum, and JJ Hickson all eligble to test free agent waters.
Of course, making no move at all would be beneficial to Portland as well as top rated PG Damion Lillard would be a nice fallback option at #6. Cleveland can really use anything, as players like Thomas Robinson, Harrison Barnes, Drummond, or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could still be available at #4.
Check out Brad Beal’s Highlight Reel at Florida:
Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen has also provided content to Bleacherreport.com, Upperdeckblog.com, Cleveland.com, CSN Philly.com, Buckets Magazine, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for TheHoopDoctors.com.