It’s not often, that you see the Portland Trail Blazers take a Forward in the NBA Draft. Two of them is even more rare. Though, that’s exactly what the Blazers did with their No. 23 and No. 43 picks. Though, Rayan Rupert may be overshadowed by Kris Murray. Let alone Rupert fell out of the first round.
The 6-foot-8-inch Frenchman played for the New Zealand Breakers in the Australian NBL last season, putting up 6.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.8 steaks in an injury-plagued year. Where else have we seen Portland take such a player? Nicolas Batum knows that answer. He was pleased with the pick.
Though, Batum was technically drafted by Houston, the Trail Blazers had acquired that pick.
Rupert has been likened to a Tony Allen or Otto Porter Jr type player. Although, he is still a raw prospect who will need some time to polish. He’s already a skilled ball handler with the size and wingspan that will allow him to switch 1-3 on defense and cause disruption on that end of the court. The 19-year-old has a high motor that allows him to fight through screens and recover when he gets beat.
Rayan Rupert was projected to be a mid-late first-round selection, maybe early second-round. The Blazers assistant General Manager Mike Schmitz has been a fan since January when he described the draftee as “super intriguing.”
With the Blazers now having their own G-League team, Rupert may start at the developmental level and work his way up onto the active roster. Many reports state that he may need at least a year or two overseas or in the G-League before becoming ready for NBA action.
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