The Trail Blazers might end up thanking their lucky stars that Nassir Little fell all the way to them at number 25 in the NBA Draft.
Little, a near 6’7″ wing from North Carolina, was widely projected a lottery pick in mock drafts, but eventually found his way to Rip City late in the first round.
Our own John Canzano (Bald Faced Truth weekdays Noon-3pm on 1029/750 The GAME) gave his thoughts on the pick on Oregon Live:
Little is long (7-1 wing span), has excellent defensive potential, and is only 19 years old. If Portland’s aim was to pick a high-character player who works hard and has loads of potential they were wildly successful in the first round.
Canzano is bullish on Little’s impact with the Blazers, even if it is not immediate:
I loved the pick.
Not because Little gives Portland immediate help. He doesn’t. That wasn’t available at No. 25. But because the pick made sense, has loads of upside, and stylistically fits with where the NBA game is going. Picking Bol there might have been more humane, and also filled with some big-time potential, but it was just too much risk.
In the end, picking late in the first round is always a crapshoot. But to get a guy with Little’s potential is a win for Portland, writes Canzano:
Little will play hard, and feels like a pretty good bet to be a solid NBA defender. If he develops on the offensive end of the floor, the Blazers are going to look really smart.
I suspect Portland may field some trade inquiries as the draft continues from teams that liked Little and were surprised he fell the way he did. I hope the Blazers keep him. I’d like to see what he becomes.
Catch JC on The Bald Faced Truth Friday at noon for more of his thoughts on Nassir Little coming to the Trail Blazers.