2013 NBA Draft: Portland Trail Blazers Hope To Draft Another Damian Lillard

By John Raffel
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers have reason to wonder if there’s another Damian Lillard in the draft waiting for someone to pick him without anyone else noticing.

That’s what happened to the Blazers a year ago with the selection of Lillard who wasn’t really considered to be among the top three in the country. His prospects seemed favorable, but what he was able to achieve this season perhaps surpassed everyone’s expectations except his own.

Lillard was the rookie who took the NBA by surprise. There seems to be a few of those every season. Lillard certainly came into his own that way.

There are several good players being tabbed in the top 10 of the draft who could wind up being like Lillard who averaged 19.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists a game. All of them have the capability of doing it, especially if they play on a team that has a decent supporting cast.

In Portland, Lillard had Lamarcus Aldridge and others that he could count on to take away some of the attention from him. The last thing a rookie wants to do in the NBA is going on a team that expects him to be a superstar. That always seems to be a recipe for disaster. What any rookie would prefer is having modest expectations thrown around him and then being able to exceed them.

Lillard exceeded his expectations by a mile and the result was Rookie of the Year honors and the start of what’s expected to be a fabulous NBA career.

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