Joe Cronin Explains Why Trail Blazers Added Another Center by Drafting Donovan Clingan

Published on 4 July 2024 at 16:23

The Portland Trail Blazers drafted center Donovan Clingan with the No. 7 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, taking the big man from UConn. Clingan was the target of Portland throughout the entire process and they ran to the podium to draft him when the pick came up.

Despite the team already having multiple centers on the roster, Portland elected to take Clingan. Trail Blazers general manager Joe Cronin reflected on why the team drafted Clingan with a crowded group.

“Our scouts were all over him a year ago. They loved him as a freshman. When the lottery played out the way it did, we thought there might be a chance [he was there].” With Robert Williams III and Deandre Ayton on the roster, taking a center was a little questionable. But both have been in trade talks this summer and could find themselves being moved.

Cronin also mentioned that the Trail Blazers wanted to build a place for competition within the locker room. He believes it's important to help a team grow further along. We're building a competitive culture. We want guys to come in and earn their spots.' Says they're still in “talent acquisition mode” and weren't as worried about positional overlap.”

Clingan was one of the better prospects in the draft class so the interest makes sense. As Portland builds itself back up, they will need solid players all over the roster and if anything, they will have strong frontcourt depth moving forward.