The Trail Blazers’ training affected is in abounding swing, and the 2018-19 NBA approved division will access in aloof a amount of weeks. Afore the activity gets underway, Portland will be tasked with abstraction its accepted crop of ambit players into a assemblage that will acclaim Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Today’s examination will focus on the players that will accomplish on the ambit aing to the Blazers’ accomplished backcourt.
This accumulation includes a brace of accustomed faces in Maurice Harkless, Evan Turner, and Jake Layman. Nik Stauskas and amateur Gary Trent Jr. will accompany that leash of abiding players in our ysis.
Our previews this year will affection ascribe from Blazer’s Edge contributors Brian Freeman and Steve Dewald.
Let’s get to the discussion.
One of the capital storylines from the Blazers this summer has been the admiration to advance ambit shooting. Selecting from the players in this group, who do you feel is in the best position to advice Portland amplitude the floor?
Steve: I accept witnessed Neil Olshey cull a aerial out of a hat afore aback it comes to award advantageous bank players in absurd places. If Nik Stauskas blossoms into a accepted contributor, it ability be Olshey’s greatest ambush yet.
Stauskas attempt 40.4 percent from above the arc in his 35-game assignment with the Nets aftermost season. Granted, he was not a high-volume three-point ballista in Brooklyn (2.8 attempts per game). This is the best accomplished band Stauskas has anytime been a allotment of, so I apprehend the above action aces to capitalize on bigger looks this season.
Brian: I would say the amateur to be in the best position to advice the Blazers amplitude the attic this year would be Maurice Harkless mostly because he will get the best account of the accumulation (assuming acceptable health). Harkless plays off the brawl able-bodied and is the best rebounder and best able apostle of the group. But let’s not beddy-bye on his accurateness from deep. Over the aftermost two years, Harkless is 117-312 (37.5%) from above the arc. Ignoring aggregate from adversity to volume, that allotment is bigger than Lillard’s over the aforementioned time span. I would bet Stauskas and Trent Jr. may accomplishment the division with bigger percentages, but no jumper in this accumulation affairs added than the ones off the duke of Maurice Harkless.
In contempo years Portland has had success with their above second-round picks award success afterwards actuality clean-cut beneath Terry Stotts’ apprenticeship staff. Is Jake Layman a for a agnate bound in his third year?
Brian: Only two players on this agenda are accustomed baby forwards– Harkless and Layman. Portland will go to three bouncer lineups and use Turner at the three, but Layman is activity to get an befalling based aloof on abridgement of abyss alone. That, accumulated with abundant showings in back-to-back summer leagues, gives lots to affidavit to accept that jump is happening. I still authority aback my optimism due to the complete abandoned of accomplishments on his resume appropriately far. Not a acceptable assurance for a third year player.
Steve: I accept a activity Brian ability accept said the aforementioned affair about Pat Connaughton’s NBA resume at this point aftermost season. This ability complete crazy, but I wouldn’t be abashed to see Layman accomplish a few starts with Harkless rehabbing an injury. If Portland’s cold is to clothier the additional assemblage to fit Turner’s strengths, Layman would be in band for atom assignment with the starters.
On paper, Layman has the concrete accoutrement all-important to about-face on to column players. His arresting adaptability will be in appeal if the Blazers abuse their arrangement to accommodate added switching.
I’m carefully optimistic, but I apprehend Layman to accept a appropriate year.
Turner’s abetment numbers accept steadily beneath back his aboriginal division with the Celtics. Will the Blazers’ re-tooled assets assemblage put the 29-year-old adept in a position to about-face this trend in 2018-19?
Steve: Turner averaged 5.5 assists per d in his aboriginal year in Boston. I don’t apprehend him to acknowledgment to that akin of production. That actuality said, Portland attempted to beleaguer him with commutual pieces over the summer. The best arresting advantage ability be second-year big man Zach Collins. The 20 year old has a bright aisle to minutes, and Turner has had success with floor-spacing big men from Gonzaga in the past. Kelly Olynyk recorded a three-point allotment of 40.5 in his additional division aing to Turner.
Brian: I am actual aflame about Turner’s abeyant as a distributer with the additional unit. With the additions of Curry, and Stauskas, Trent, and Anfernee Simons, additional the connected progression of Zach Collins, Meyers Leonard and Wade Baldwin, Turner could arch a additional assemblage amidst with shooters. This is article he has not had at his auctioning back his accession in Portland and could accompany out the blazon of comedy maker that the Blazer advanced appointment envisioned aback he accustomed two seasons ago. He is assuredly in a bearings that could comedy to his strengths and I see the accessible division as his best in a Blazer compatible yet.
What are you assured from Portland’s wings this season? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
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