Rayan Rupert Becomes Fourth Breaker to Make NBA Through the Draft
Rayan Rupert is the fourth Breakers' player to make the leap from the NBL to the NBA through the draft, with the NBL23 Next Star falling to Portland with the 43rd overall pick in the draft.
Rupert was initially predicted to be selected with the 26th pick by ESPN, however he was forced to wait until the second round to hear his name called by deputy commissioner Mark Tatum.
Bobby Marks and Andraya Carter – both members of ESPN’s broadcast team – believe Rupert is an excellent pick by the Trail Blazers.
“They have a player that’s got a first-round grade,” Marks said immediately following Rupert’s announcement.
“A high-level, long, athletic defender.
“They’ve got a steal at pick 43.”
Rupert will join fellow draftees Scoot Henderson and Kris Murray in Portland next season. Henderson was selected with the third pick in the draft, while Murray went at pick 23.
Carter believes Portland has covered a number of areas of weakness from last season.
“I think they did a good job in terms of scoring the basketball – Kris Murray and Scoot Henderson you’ve got – and in terms of defence, Rayan Rupert is all defence,” she said.
“I’m crazy about his defence.
“They got exactly what they needed in the areas they struggled with last season.”
Rupert is the 13th player to be drafted into the NBA directly from the NBL.
Former NBL Next Star Mojave King has been selected with the 47th pick of the draft, and will head to Indiana via the Los Angeles Lakers.
Chris Anstey was the first player to make the jump. He was also drafted by Portland back in 1997.