Report: Blazers want Victor Oladipo; will consider trading up in draft
Victor Oladipo, when he is not doing his best Usher impression or getting insane Michael Jordan comparisons, showed drastic improvement this year at Indiana, and led them to be one of the juggernaut of the past NCAA season. Oladipo, a quality defensive-minded guard, who also has shown some promise on the other end of the floor, combined with what many have said to be a weak draft, has made him a presumed top-5 pick in this year’s draft.
The Portland Trailblazers, who will have their official draft positions after tonight’s lottery drawing, will probably not be in the range to draft Oladipo unless they get extremely lucky in the drawing. However, reports say that you should not count Portland out of the Oladipo sweepstakes, as they are highly considering trading up to grab the former Hoosier if necessary, according to probasketballtalk.com. Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest had the original report, and provides us with more details:
Sources close to the prospect say the Trail Blazers, among a few others teams, “really like him” and are “considering moving up to get him.”
It appears the interest is mutual, as Oladipo seemed very intrigued with the possibility of joining Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, and the rest of the young core in Portland when he was reached for comment on the report. More from Haynes:
When Oladipo was reached for comment, he acknowledged being aware of the interested teams that weren’t in position to take him. If Portland did pull off the move, Oladipo is all for it.
“I would really love to go to Portland, and I’m not just saying that,” he said convincingly to CSNNW.com. “I hope, and I don’t think I’m dropping that far, but if they decided to move up somehow, I think that would be a great situation for me. It’s a place where you can just concentrate on basketball.”
In a draft that most consider not very deep, it would be wise for the Blazers to consider trading up to grab their primary target, which appears to be Oladipo. The only conflict would be what the Blazers would have to give up in return for the ability to draft Oladipo. The Blazers primary roster issue is their depth, and they can hardly afford to cut into their core in order to acquire Oladipo. However, a trade that doesn’t involve Lillard, who is probably untouchable, LaMarcus Aldridge, or Nic Batum may be worth the gamble. Oladipo paired with Lillard would give the Blazers a very promising, young back-court to build upon.
The Blazers journey for Oladipo will start tonight, when they officially find out which position they will be drafting from, and thus how much work will need to be done in order to get within Oladipo’s draft-range.
Update: The Trailblazers received the 10th pick in this year’s draft.
By: Frank Santos