Portland Trail Blazers, NBA draft Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

This is the first time since 2016 that the Portland Trail Blazers do not have a selection in the NBA Draft. The Blazers traded their first-round pick away to the Houston Rockets for Robert Covington in the last offseason. They traded their second-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Rodney Hood trade.

But in that 2016 draft, the Blazers got back into it by trading a 2019 2nd round pick and $1.2 million in cash to the Orlando Magic for their second-round pick that ended up being Jake Layman.

Technically, Layman got drafted by the Magic and then was traded after to the Blazers later that night, even though Portland told Orlando who to select. The NBA really needs to change their draft-day trade rules.

The NBA draft is right around the corner, and the Portland Trail Blazers should consider trading into the first round because of these five players.

The Blazers should consider doing this again because they are tight on cap space and need to have some players on their bench who don’t cost the team a ton of money and can maybe contribute to the team over time.

Portland has successfully found valuable players in the second round over the years in guys like Layman, Gary Trent Jr., Pat Connaughton and now perhaps CJ Elleby.

It’s a cheaper option to draft a player in the second round than signing players in free agency to fill the roster, Plus the team can have the drafted player under contract for multiple seasons.

This is a pretty talented draft, and every year some quality players slip a bit into the second round. Here are some players I think could fall down some draft boards and be available for the Blazers to swoop in on.

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