Free Agency Grades: Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers had themselves a great run to the playoffs in the Orlando bubble, but they ended up getting eliminated in the first round to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Carmelo Anthony ended up re-signing with the team for a 1-year veteran’s minimum deal. He’ll bring that leadership back to a squad who will continue to thrive off of it. It also helps that he’s still playing at a high level.
The team was also able to pick up Robert Covington from the Houston Rockets.
Let’s take a look at how they did with the rest of free agency to add to their already talented squad:
Rodney Hood re-signed for a 2-year, $21 million deal, 2nd year is non-guaranteed
Blazers fans adore him and his hard work. Last season unfortunately he suffered a ruptured Achilles, so his averages weren’t as good as they’ve been before. He averaged 11 PPG, 1 APG and 3.4 RPG. Once he’s back in the rotation on a more constant level, he’ll make this squad even better.
The Blazers really love Hood. He’s been consistent and he’s a fan favorite so this is a great deal for him and the organization.
The Blazers weren’t really in the market to make dramatic additions during this free agency. Signing someone they knew would help them keep progressing in the right direction was the right thing to do.
Harry Giles signed to a 1-year deal
The Blazers have themselves two centers in Jusuf Nurkić and Enes Kanter, who will be getting the bulk of playing time in the center position. Whenever they need Giles he will be a decent backup. He can slip to the power forward position also. He averaged 6.9 PPG, 4.1 APG and 1.4 APG last season with the Sacramento Kings.
This is a smart deal for the Blazers. They can see how he’ll do with the team this season and potentially sign him to a bigger deal next season.
Giles can give the team a good 10-15 points, when he gets in the game. What we’ll have to see is how he’ll crack the rotation and if he’ll be consistent.
Derrick Jones Jr. signed a 2-year, $19 million deal
Jones Jr., was with the Miami Heat last season and experienced the NBA Finals. He will be bringing that experience with him to a young team that hasn’t made it there yet. With the Heat he averaged 8.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 1.1 APG. One standout is the fact that he shot 52.7% from the field.
This deal could end up being a steal for the Blazers. He’s got a good stroke and those averages from last season will definitely be higher this season when he gets more play time.
With Jones Jr., the Blazers get a player who will help a lot on the offense end and an athletic defender. They’ll also be getting last season's All-Star weekend dunk contest winner so he will probably become an instant fan favorite with his fun in-game dunks.