By 750 THE GAME STAFF
John Canzano sounded off Friday with what he thinks the Trail Blazers should do with the No. 3 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
“I don’t think there’s a wrong decision here for the Blazers except if they trade out of the No. 3 pick and move back and get a marginal veteran player,” Canzano said. “Brandon Miller, Scoot Henderson — they both work for me. I think they work for the short-term and long-term health of the franchise. You pick the best player at No. 3.”
A number of reports say Portland is looking to package the third overall pick with another asset in order to secure a win-now piece in support of Damian Lillard.
Canzano doesn’t like that approach.
“There are three players in this draft that are head and shoulders above everybody else in the eyes of the scouts,” he said. “Three players in this draft everybody loves, and the Blazers are sitting at three. So I’m using the pick if I’m the Blazers.”
Miller poses few if any concerns on the court. Off it, however, his involvement in a January shooting in Tuscaloosa that led to the death of a 23-year-old woman has raised questions about Miller’s character. Miller, however, was not charged with a crime and has been a cooperating witness, per police.
Canzano said NBA teams should do their homework on Miller. But if what they find is similar to what Canzano himself has heard from sources in Tuscaloosa, teams will come away with a positive outlook on the 20-year-old.
“I’ve talked to people at Alabama in the athletic department. Asked them ‘What do you make of Brandon Miller? Shoot it straight to me.’ To a person, everyone says, ‘You know what, he is a good guy. He did do something stupid in bringing a weapon to the scene of a crime. He was not charged with a crime, he was not convicted of a crime. Hopefully, he’s learned from it’.”
Should the Blazers find adequate answers to their off-court questions, Miller becomes another can’t-miss prospect for a franchise long awaiting a true two-way star.
“If I’m the Blazers, of course, I do my diligence. But there seems to be some comfort with Miller,” Canzano said. “The Blazers have been looking for that 6-foot 9-inch wing for a decade — and here he comes.”
Listen to Canzano’s full comments on Miller and Portland’s No. 3 pick starting at the 34:45 mark of the podcast below.
John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.