TUALATIN — The Portland Trail Blazers have worked out several projected lottery picks ahead of the June 23 NBA draft, as well as players projected to go in the second round or undrafted.
Then there is Arizona guard/forward Dalen Terry, who worked out for the Blazers Wednesday along with two lottery hopefuls, Kentucky guard Shaedon Sharpe and Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan.
The 6-foot-7 Terry is projected in many mock drafts to go off the board in the late teens. Some have him going early in the second round.
Either way, it doesn’t make much sense for the Blazers, who have the No. 7 pick, to be working out Terry unless something is possibly afoot.
Portland is believed to be at least looking at trading the No. 7 pick for a veteran player. Such a deal could involve a later first-round pick coming Portland’s way. That scenario could put Terry in play for the Blazers.
Or, maybe the Blazers hope that Terry is around when they are on the clock with pick No. 36 in the second round. They also own the 51st pick in the draft.
Terry played alongside another Arizona star the Blazers have worked out during this predraft process. That would be guard Bennedict Mathurin, the Pac-12 player of the year who averaged 17.7 points per game. He is expected to be available at No. 7 and is a much more logical pick there than Terry.
Mathurin is one of the best scorers in the draft, while Terry averaged just 8.0 points per game. But he did shoot 50.2% from the field and 36.4% on threes.
Terry, who also put up 4.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists, said he simply played his role as a defender and facilitator on a team that had plenty of elite scorers.
“A lot of people say I’m not a scorer, but I feel like I’m a person that’s going to go in and do what is needed for the team,” Terry said. “Ben averaged a lot of points … I pride myself on passing the ball. I feel like I was the best pass on the team. Me passing the ball to Ben, him scoring, it feels like I just scored too.”
Had Terry returned to Arizona, he might have become a top scorer next season. But he said he feels like he will better develop while playing in the NBA.
“I’d rather be in the NBA and go through my struggles and trials and tribulations than be in college and be the star,” said Terry, 19. “A lot of guys wouldn’t say that, but I want to go through it while I’m a young kid and get adjusted to the game. And obviously, I’ve been playing basketball all my life to become an NBA player. I haven’t played basketball since I was 2 to be a college player.”
Working on his offense is a priority despite his confidence that he can get the job done.
“I feel like my offensive ability needs to grow, definitely,” Terry said. “But I could do a lot of things. Don’t get it twisted.”
One thing Terry does not lack is confidence. As a versatile guard/forward who can do a lot of things well, Terry clearly believes he could be a steal in this draft.
“I feel like it’s going to be a redraft in 10 years and it’s going to change up,” Terry said. “No matter where they take me.”
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