1. Best player available
Nassir Little has some things to work on in his game and could take a season to develop before he is ready to play big minutes. However, he has a ton of potential to be an impact player in the league for many years and is a low-risk/high-reward pick for the Blazers in the back half of the first round. Not very often does a guy mocked in the top ten on most major NBA draft sites slip this far.
According to ESPN’s Ryen Russilo, the Blazers had Little ranked 12th on their draft board. So even if Portland had their eyes set on guys they scouted more heavily and thought would be around at No. 25, Little was by far the best player on their board, and there was no way they could pass up on him. GM Neil Olshey talked about Little falling to the Blazers in the post-draft press conference
"“Him getting to 25 certainly wasn’t a situation we were anticipating, but we’re thrilled to have him,” Olshey said."
When it comes to the NBA draft, teams might be looking to fill a specific need for their roster when selecting a player, but really the draft is about finding the best talent you can to add to your mix of assets. More talented players obviously make the team better but can also be used in trades if needed.
Luckily for Portland, Little was the best player available at No. 25 and also fills some needs for the team in the short and longterm future. Even if Little doesn’t reach his full potential as a player in NBA, nobody will be able to fault the Blazers for taking a chance on a prospect with his potential 3-and-D skill set and excellent physical abilities.