The Poortland Trailblazers have not had the best luck in the NBA Draft in recent years, but it looks like things are starting to look up in PDX! The Blazers took Damian Lillard aka the Omen, aka the Dame, aka the 6’3 PG out of Weber State, with their 6th overall pick in the draft and expectations couldn’t be higher for the young guard. In 32 games with Weber St. Wildcats last season, Lillard filled the stat sheet with 24.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.0 APG and 1.5 steals per game. Yes, Dame does it all folks. Are you excited yet? He also sank 2.9 3-pointers per game, shot a 46.7 FG% and averaged just under 35 minutes per game. How about now? Damian should take the place of Ray Felton as the Blazer new starting point guard and has been named as a dark horse in the ROY race (Brow better watch his back!). He has drawn comparisons to Chris Paul and George Hill. Yes, THE George Hill.He is also tasked with the challenge of winning Blazers’ fans hearts back from Brandon Roy, who broke them, stole their hearts, shipped those hearts to Minnesota and packed them under 4 feet of ice.
The NBA Summer League experts (or “SLexperts”) awarded the honors of “biggest winner in Las Vegas” (“I like to call it Lost Wages!”) not to Nick Papageorgio, but to Damian Lillard. Much like Mr. Papageorgio, Lillard does not require corrective lenses, but unlike Nick P. Damian absolutely dominated the Summer League in July, or should I say “dame-inated?” Whichever you choose, in four summer league games Lillard put up drool worthy fantasy stats, 26.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 5.3 APG, including a 31 point, 7-assist performance July 19. He also hit 11 3’s (.379%) in 4 games! Oh hello there, young point guard, if you’re not doing anything this November, I thought maybe possibly perhaps you’d like to be on my fantasy basketball team? We can name them “Damien’s Omen,” and I’ll put a pic of you dunking for the team logo? Say what you will about the Summer League, these stats should not be ignored. Lillard is a player who can score in bunches, something Portland has lacked over the past few seasons, and he could also be the perfect complement to Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge. LaMarcus could see a boost or dip in production based on how well Lillard plays. Let’s hope for Dame’s sake its the former, as Aldridge is a big scary man. All these things considered, Damian Lillard could be a real steal on draft day. It’s early, but most boards are projecting him as a 9th-12th round pick. I imagine this projection may go up a bit as the season approaches and the hype train builds, but if you can manage to grab Damian in one of those rounds it could pay off huge. The Blazers are handing Lillard the reigns to the starting point guard position in Portland with high hopes and if you’re smart you’d consider doing the same with your fantasy team on draft day.
Projections: .408/.882/1.5 3pt/18.9 pts/3.7 rbd/5.9 ast/1.1 stl/0.1 blk/3.4 tov