ChrisHaynes, CSNNW.com Trail Blazers Insider (@ChrisBHaynes)
CHICAGO CSNNW.com has learned the Portland Trail Blazers are high onWeber State's point guard Damian Lillard, University of Illinois'center Meyers Leonard, North Carolina's wing Harrison Barnes, andKentucky's wing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
Oneleague executive said Lillard is climbing the charts and if the TrailBlazers were to pass on him at No. 6, they don't think he'll bearound at No. 11 at this rate.
Ihave been told the Trail Blazers will pick the best player availableat No. 6 and that might not be Lillard.
Surprisingly,Kidd-Gilchrist, who's considered by many as a top three selection,says he's scheduled to workout for the Trail Blazers sometime nextweek.
Issomeone thinking about trading up?
Also,Lillard, Washington's point guard Tony Wroten, Connecticuts centerAndre Drummond, Ohio State's forward Jared Sullinger, and Duke'sguard Austin Rivers all have said they'll be in Portland for workoutssometime next week.
Multipleprospects said they weren't sure who they were scheduled to workoutfor, so expect the Trail Blazers' list of player workouts to grow.
Florida's guard Bradley Beal -- who's considered a top 10 pick -- will not be one of the players working out for the Trail Blazers. His agent, Mark Bartelstein tells CSNNW.com that Beal will only workout for the teams at the top of the draft.
Aplayer the Trail Blazersmany teams were disappointed in wasConnecticuts wing Jeremy Lamb. He was known as a sharp-shooter,but wasn't able to knock down his perimeter shot on a consistentlevel during drills.
Thisinterview here with CSNNW.com couldn't have helped, either.
Manyof the prospects came to the Chicago Pre-Draft combine out of shapeand wasn't able to perform at a high level, a NBA team official said.I was told most of these college prospects hire personal workoutpersonnel who help them develop their individual game, tell them howgreat they are, but don't implement the conditioning aspect, the sameofficial said.
Fromthe interviews I've conducted this week, the players that I foundthat genuinely would love to be in Portland and who were educated onthe city and team were Lillard, Sullinger, Barnes, Baylors forwardPerry Jones, and of course Washington's Terrence Ross and Wroten.
Otherplayers I've talked to about Portland just went to their go-to lines,I would love to be in Portland and play with LaMarcus Aldridge.
Oneplayer (who will be a top 10 pick and shall remain nameless) said, Iwould love to play for a city like Portland and play alongsideLaMarcus and be coached by Nate McMillan.
I'mnot giving this information out for laughs and giggles, I just thinkit's important to know which players do their homework and areeducated on the teams they could possibly fall to.
That'snot to say someone who doesn't know anything about the Trail Blazerswon't become a great player in this league, it's just good to have aclue to what type of personplayer you're getting involved with.
Offthe vibe I'm getting now, if the draft was today, I think the TrailBlazers would select Lillard at No. 6. But if Barnes or Drummond areon the board, I think you have to take one of them.
No.11 is a little is tricky right now. Leonard was the favorite to bethere before this combine, but he has established himself as one ofthe centers with the most upside in this draft. He could be a topeight pick now. I'm still going to go with Leonard at No. 11 but keepan eye out for Jones, too.
Alot can change between now and June 28 and CSNNW.com will be all overit.