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#pounditWednesday, September 27, 2023

Blazers dropping big hint about who they plan to draft No. 3 overall?

Chauncey Billups at the podium

Feb 15, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Former player Chauncey Billups speaks during a ceremony honoring former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders prior to a game against Los Angeles Lakers at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers may be tipping their hand some two weeks before the NBA Draft.

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated reported Tuesday that the Blazers have agreed to hire former NBA guard Pooh Jeter as a player development coach. Jeter will also be working as an assistant GM for Portland’s new G League team, Spears adds.

The hiring might not seem all that noteworthy on its face. But there is something important to mention here — Jeter, who played the last two seasons with the G League Ignite, has served as a mentor for top prospect Scoot Henderson. Thus, many are interpreting the Jeter hire as a sign that the Blazers plan to select Henderson, also of the G League Ignite, with the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft.

Victor Wembanyama is a virtual lock to go No. 1 overall to the San Antonio Spurs. Meanwhile, Charlotte Hornets, who hold the No. 2 overall pick, seem to be leaning towards a different player as well.

The 19-year-old Henderson must feel like he has a good chance of going to the Blazers — they are one of only two teams he is planning to work out for before the draft. While it is still possible that Portland decides to trade the No. 3 pick for veteran help ahead of the June 23 draft, the signs pointing in Henderson’s direction are definitely there.


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