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NBA Mock Draft: Portland Trail Blazers Select Robert Upshaw From Washington

SB Nation's NBA Network conducted a mock draft with bloggers from each team site making or trading "their" team's pick. We continue with the next pick in the 2015 NBA Mock Draft, with BlazersEdge selecting Robert Upshaw from Washington.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Mock Draft Pick #23 -- Robert Upshaw, Center, Washington

SB Nation's Blazers blog, BlazersEdge, explains the pick:

The Blazers get exactly what they needed from the draft: a solid defender at a position of need. Upshaw is a dynamic athlete, capable of taking over a game on the defensive end of the floor and sweeping clean the offensive glass. He has scary agility for someone who is seven feet tall, showed a great deal of improvement from his freshman year, and led the nation in blocks as a sophomore before being dismissed from the team.

Therein lies the risk. This is a DeMarcus Cousins situation: Upshaw could be an All-Star in four years, or he could be entirely out of the league. Being dismissed twice in two years from two different schools is definitely a large red flag, and Upshaw will need to work on controlling his demons at the NBA level.

With that in mind, we are talking a DeAndre Jordan/Ben Wallace/Rudy Gobert type player who is easily capable of averaging 12 rebounds and 3 blocks per game. Upshaw's offensive game leaves a great deal to be desired, but his defensive instincts are already at an NBA level. Even if he only averages four or five points per game, he is a game changer in one of Portland's greatest weaknesses last season: interior defense.

1) Minnesota Timberwolves: KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS

2) Los Angeles Lakers: JAHLIL OKAFOR

3) Phoenix Suns (via Philadelphia 76ers): D'ANGELO RUSSELL

4) New York Knicks: JUSTISE WINSLOW


6) Philadelphia 76ers (via Sacramento Kings): MARIO HEZONJA

7) Denver Nuggets: EMMANUEL MUDIAY

8) Boston Celtics (via Detroit Pistons): KRISTAPS PRIZINGIS

9) Utah Jazz (via Charlotte Hornets): MYLES TURNER

10) Philadelphia 76ers (via Miami Heat): STANLEY JOHNSON

11) Indiana Pacers: CAMERON PAYNE

12) Utah Jazz: DEVIN BOOKER

13) Miami Heat (from the 76ers via the Phoenix Suns): FRANK KAMINSKY

14) Oklahoma City Thunder: KELLY OUBRE

15) Atlanta Hawks: BOBBY PORTIS

16) Detroit Pistons (via Boston Celtics): JUSTIN ANDERSON

17) Phoenix Suns (via Milwaukee Bucks): MONTREZL HARRELL

18) Houston Rockets: JERIAN GRANT

19) Milwaukee Bucks (via Washington Wizards): KEVON LOONEY


21) Dallas Mavericks: R.J. HUNTER

22) Utah Jazz (via Chicago Bulls): TREY LYLES

23) Portland Trail Blazers: ROBERT UPSHAW

24) Milwaukee Bucks (via Cleveland Cavaliers):

25) Memphis Grizzlies

26) San Antonio Spurs

27) Los Angeles Lakers

28) Boston Celtics

29) Brooklyn Nets

30) Golden State Warriors