As the NBA Draft nears closer and closer, the rumor mill will continue to churn.
On Thursday, Bleacher Report writer Jake Fischer released an article surrounding his latest NBA intel. Among the collection of chatter, Lu Dort was mentioned as a potential trade target for the Portland Trail Blazers.
“Portland does not appear to be a legitimate landing spot for restricted free agent Deandre Ayton, sources said. The Trail Blazers are expected to retain starting center Jusuf Nurkic, and they are prioritizing Toronto Raptors swingman OG Anunoby in any return for the No. 7 pick in the week’s draft, sources said. But there has been increasing talk about Portland potentially targeting the seventh selection to Oklahoma City for No. 12 and a package that could include Lu Dort.”
Later in the day, Fischer took to his podcast, reporting that, according to his sources, the Trail Blazers were the driving force in discussions involving the guard.
“When I called someone from OKC this morning, they were keen on suggesting that if I decided to write about that trade discussion rumor, that I should be keen on saying that Portland is potentially the one who is driving that discussion more so than Oklahoma City," said Fischer.
Fischer did note that a deal could still happen if talks were initiated by Portland. However, he got the sense that Portland is looking at multiple prospects outside of Dort in deals, not to mention Oklahoma City's perspective on sending out the guard.
“That’s not to say a deal can’t happen," said Fischer. "But I also think generally Portland has – they're just making calls right now. Portland’s been linked to Jerami Grant, John Collins, OG. There’s a lot of outgoing calls from Portland, to my understanding.”
Recommended for You
"If it's gonna take Lu Dort, I don't know if that deal is going to get done," said Fischer. "It'll be curious to see if that's something the Thunder are willing to do."
The Thunder, who carry selections 2, 12, and 34 heading into draft night, have routinely been caught in rumors for trade-up scenarios. In particular, to acquire an uber-athletic guard in Jaden Ivey or Shaedon Sharpe. Ivey, a consensus top 4 selection, would be a longshot to slide to the Trail Blazers’ pick. However, Sharpe’s unique path to the league has raised alarms in terms of draft stock – making him a potential card with the seventh pick.
If Sam Presti fixates on trading up in this draft, it’s a given high-level assets would need to be shipped in a deal. Outside of consolidating draft assets, the Thunder don’t have many trade-defining assets at hand. However, Lu Dort would definitely pique prospective teams’ interest, if available.
As one of the Thunder’s top two-way contributors, Dort averaged 17.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists across a 32.6-minute palate. With his pesky two-way play, notably found in his one-on-one defense, he’s a player who would fit on virtually any team, especially come playoff time.
Inside The Thunder’s full list of NBA Draft reports and rumors can be found here.