NBA Draft Rumors: Portland Trail Blazers May Be Interested In Donovan Clingan

In ESPN’s latest NBA Mock Draft update, Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo drop some new information they’ve heard about the Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets and Houston Rockets. With prospects quickly moving up and down draft boards, some teams want to move up in the 2023 draft, while others would like to move out.

First, with the third pick, Givony sends Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard to the Rockets, but with a sliver of doubt whether Houston will pick someone.

Most teams expect the Rockets to keep a close eye on trade opportunities, either to move down the board (with teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies or Chicago Bulls, for example) or to go all out if in which an important element of a player — such as Mikal Bridges — presents itself unexpectedly.

At pick six, Charlotte is projected to take Kentucky’s Rob Dillingham. But Woo notes that the sixth draft position seems like an odd spot this year, and it could cost them.

The Hornets are in a tough spot at No. 6, with some prospects so far unwilling to work out in Charlotte. With a new front office and new team ownership known to be heavily involved in decision-making, it remains to be seen what direction the franchise will take.

Portland reaches Connecticut Donovan Clingan seventh, but Givony brings up murmurs among other teams that Portland might move to get him.

There’s talk around the league that teams like Portland, Memphis and Chicago could try to draft Clingan early, but in this mock scenario, he falls right into the Trail Blazers’ lap. Clingan brings size, length, defensive prowess, non-stop intensity and passing ability along with back-to-back national championship pedigree.

With the 14th pick, Woo projects Portland will take him Cody Williams if he could have caught Clingan with the 7th.

His draft stock suffered a bit of flux as he struggled toward the end of the season in Colorado, but lottery teams with an eye on long-term development consider him a viable long-term project.

In the second round, Portland picked up Virginia Ryan Dunn at 34th and UCLA Adem Bona (who worked in Portland) at #40.

Other picks of interest to Blazer fans include Zachary Risacher jumping into #1, Spurs grabbing Tidjane Salaun at #8, Nicola Topic dropping to #10, and Kel’el Ware staying on the board until the Bucks find him at #23.