Moe Harkless - Portland did not make any moves over the offseason to fill the need of a strong wing player. You have Evan Turner and Moe Harkless, but Harkless is battling a knee injury to start the season. Harkless is the more athletic wing option over Turner, but he does do a lot of the ball handling. Harkless should bounce back, but Portland is also in a bit of a try out mode where they need to fill in this role and get some consistent production.
When you think about the Blazers, you think the Greg Oden injury that he suffered. You also have Brandon Roy who couldn’t stay healthy either. Both of these guys had dominant college careers, and were set to become prime NBA players. Injuries gashed their hopes, and also the Blazers passed on some big names that are still dominating to this day. That draft had Kevin Durant go number two, while the Blazers took Oden at number one. Moving ahead a bit, they did get one draft pick right, which was LaMarcus Aldridge.
Aldridge had a major injury in 2006, tearing a ligament in his shoulder. He needed surgery, and missed almost the first four months of that season. Zach Randolph also underwent surgery to repair bone fragments in his hand, and he had issues with this injury for a few months. We start the Oden injuries in 2007 where he had surgery on his right knee, and was out for the entire 2007 season. Aldridge in this season that plantar fasciitis, which lingered into 2008. Roy’s major injury came in 2008, where he tore his meniscus. Channing Frye also missed 8-10 weeks with an ankle issue.
The Blazers could not dodge the injury big, as Patty Mills broke his foot and then Nicolas Batum had to have shoulder surgery to repair torn cartilage. Oden continued the injury slide with a broken kneecap which needed surgery in 2009. A year later, Roy had another huge injury with another injury to his meniscus. In 2011 both Roy and Oden had another round of surgeries. Marcus Camby suffered the same injuries as them with a torn meniscus, and missed the 2011 season.
2012 brought more destruction to the Blazers, with Aldridge tearing his labrum which required surgery. Wesley Matthews tore his Achilles in the 2015 season, which derailed his career. He never quite has been the same, and now plays in Dallas. Aldridge suffered a torn ligament in his thumb, and then Meyers Leonard and Noah Vonleh injuries followed.