Portland Trail Blazers Roster 2019 Blazers Roster

0-0, T-1st in West Northwest

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Once again, the Portland Trail Blazers excelled during the regular season only to fall in the first round of the playoffs. This time, Portland could not keep up with New Orleans, who shockingly swept them out of the playoffs. As the third seed last year, this team was as good as they are going to get. The Trail Blazers are powered by one of the best backcourts in the league, but need contributions elsewhere to match their 49 wins from last season. Portland has decided to take the same approach as last year in leaving the squad largely unchanged in the offseason. That may not even be enough to match last season's win total as their Western Conference rivals improved around them. The passing of their owner Paul Allen right before the start of the season could eventually cause a change in direction for the Trail Blazers once the ownership situation becomes settled.

Pos Name Jersey Rating Ranking Depth Height Weight Age Birthday Exp. College
PG Damian Lillard Damian Lillard D. Lillard 0
#5 PG 1 6' 3" 195 28 7/15/90 7th season Weber State
PG Langston Morris-walker Langston Morris-walker L. Morris-walker
SG C.J. McCollum C.J. McCollum C. McCollum 3
#8 SG 1 6' 3" 190 27 9/19/91 6th season Lehigh
SG Seth Curry Seth Curry S. Curry 31
#25 SG 2 6' 2" 185 28 8/23/90 5th season Duke
SG Rodney Hood Rodney Hood R. Hood 5
#24 SG 2 6' 8" 206 25 10/20/92 5th season Duke
SG Evan Turner Evan Turner E. Turner 1
#58 SG 3 6' 7" 220 29 10/27/88 9th season Ohio State
SG Anfernee Simons Anfernee Simons A. Simons 24
3 6' 4" 185 19 6/8/99 Rookie
SG Gary Trent Jr. Gary Trent Jr. G. T. Jr. 9
3 6' 6" 205 19 1/18/99 Rookie Duke
SF Maurice Harkless Maurice Harkless M. Harkless 4
#63 SF 1 6' 9" 220 25 5/11/93 7th season St. John's
SF Jake Layman Jake Layman J. Layman 10
2 6' 9" 215 24 3/7/94 3rd season Maryland
PF Al-Farouq Aminu Al-Farouq Aminu A. Aminu 8
#52 PF 1 6' 9" 220 28 9/21/90 9th season Wake Forest
PF Skal Labissiere Skal Labissiere S. Labissiere 17
#62 PF 3 6' 11" 235 22 3/18/96 3rd season Kentucky
PF Mikyle Mcintosh Mikyle Mcintosh M. Mcintosh
C Meyers Leonard Meyers Leonard M. Leonard 11
#75 C 1 7' 1" 255 26 2/27/92 7th season Illinois
C Enes Kanter Enes Kanter E. Kanter 0
#16 C 2 6' 11" 250 26 5/20/92 8th season Kentucky
C Zach Collins Zach Collins Z. Collins 33
#72 C 2 7' 0" 235 20 11/19/97 2nd season Gonzaga
C Jusuf Nurkic Jusuf Nurkic J. Nurkic 27
#18 C 3 7' 0" 275 24 8/23/94 5th season

Portland Trail Blazers Roster Top 3 Questions

Portland is a team that relies on that backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. Both are tremendous athletes, but the problem is there isn’t much past them. Evan Turner and Al-Farouq Aminu do not add much on the offensive end, and Moe Harkless isn’t exactly that spark plug off the bench either. Portland has a loaded center position, but after Jusuf Nurkic came over, things went back down a peg. Ed Davis, Zach Collins, and Meyers Leonard all struggle to gain notable minutes. Nurkic is a very streaky player, and didn’t quite revert back to his play last season in Portland after the trade. The Blazers have not been able to build through the draft, adding later round bigs that just haven’t panned out. Their spending on Evan Turner and Allen Crabbe were egregious, but at least they were able to trade the Crabbe contract away to the Nets.

Can the Bench Improve?

Nobody questions the Trail Blazers' starting lineup. The bench disappeared at times and Portland was at a disadvantage once its starters came out of the game. Portland's bench consists largely of limited upside players who have had a chance in the starting lineup, but have failed to deliver on their potential. The most intriguing bench option is Nik Stauskas, who can deliver points in a hurry on the second team. Zach Collins is a seven-foot versatile center who can anchor the second unit. His role figures to increase in his second season in the league. Outside of that veterans Seth Curry and Evan Turner will need to provide the leadership necessary to spark the bench.

How Much More can the Backcourt Accomplish?

Outside of Golden State, Portland has probably the best one-two punch in the backcourt in the entire league. What this backcourt has not done is lead Portland to much, if any playoff success. Damian Lillard has raised his game as high as he possibly can. CJ McCollum struggled with his shooting last season and the trend in his numbers is worrisome. McCollum's game is mostly scoring, and if his shooting is off, he becomes a liability to the team since he is a subpar defensive player. Lillard and McCollum are getting closer to 30 and their time is now.

Can Portland Use Jusuf Nurkic More Effectively?

After Portland obtained Nurkic from Denver, early reaction suggested that reduced obstacles to playing time would allow Nurkic to blossom into one of the better centers in the league. That has not fully happened as Nurkic has not yet been heavily used in Portland. The Trail Blazers would benefit if they spread the ball around beyond their backcourt and allowed Nurkic to open up the offense a bit. While Nurkic is one of the last true big bangers in the NBA, his size creates mismatches against opposing centers, who are smaller these days. Nurkic's usage is high for the time he is on the floor, but there is simply no reason why Nurkic should not be playing 30 minutes per game.