After going undrafted Thursday night, Trendon Watford was going to have multiple teams lined up to sign him as an undrafted rookie. Most important for the LSU forward, he got to choose where he wanted to go and immediately after the draft his NBA home was announced.
Watford will sign a two-way deal with the Portland Trailblazers, a team in need of rebounding, playmaking and a presence in the paint that Watford provides. While not the most flashy of athletes, Watford knows how to force his way into the paint, off the catch or off the dribble and make plays happen.
At LSU this past season, he averaged 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists while shooting 48% from the floor. As the season went on, Watford really came into his own from a playmaking perspective and during the combine, he was able to make similar plays at a higher rate.
Because of the versatility he brings as a switchable three, four or potentially five man at the next level, coach Will Wade believes there's a lot of potential still to be untapped at the next level.
"I think a lot of teams see him playing the three through the five," Wade said. "He can make plays off the bounce, there's a lot of things he can do with the diversity of his game. I think people are excited about that and he's gonna have opportunity to show it."
Watford will now wait a little bit and suit up for the summer league roster, where he hopes to impress the Trailblazers staff much like Naz Reid did a few years ago. Reid was also a former five star prospect, who like Watford, went undrafted but has since carved out a significant rotational role with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The blueprint is there for Watford to make an impact in the NBA sooner than later, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him split time in the G-League as well.