Damian Lillard

Lillard’s workout wowed the Blazers’ officials, cementing the Weber State product’s spot at the top of their wish-list for the No. 6 pick, which Portland used to draft him Thursday. Even with North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes — a player many ranked higher in the draft pecking order — still available when Portland’s spot came up, general manager Neil Olshey said there was not strong sentiment in the draft room to shift the pick to Barnes.

“Not as much as you’d think,” Olshey said.

The Blazers were that focused on Lillard as their top choice for the No. 6 spot. In fact, Portland’s second choice for the No. 6 pick was gone by the time the Blazers turn came (Olshey declined to identify the player, but did confirm he was drafted ahead of Lillard).

Although the Blazers performed a lot of advance work in getting down to Lillard, the June 15 visit was the tipping point. Buchanan said the Blazers put Lillard through a variety of situations that tested his footwork and his ability to get his shot off – coming off screens, on the run, off the catch, and so on.

– Reported by Mike Tokito of the Oregonian