I just found out today that Nicolas Batum has a torn labrum and will have surgery. The recovery time is an estimated 3 to 5 months but nobody will be able to tell until after the surgery.
This will give Martell the starting spot, which I don't think is bad. I just think that Martell doesn't give you what Nicolas does. Martell is a great outside shooter and he's much bigger than Nicolas but I think Martell is an average defender form what I've seen from him over his career. Though he didn't play last season and he was projected to have a breakout season last season so I hope he can do that this season with the loss of Nicolas. If Martell can be anywhere near as good of defender as Nicolas Batum then I think the Blazers will be in great shape. But I don't think that will happen.
Now I think the Blazers would have gotten off to a slow start regardless of Nicolas being healthy or not so I don't think this injury changes anything as far as the first 20 or so games go. But I think it will impact the Blazers later in the year. Though I understand that Nicolas isn't out for the season but I guess my question is. What role will he be given when he comes back? Will he be put back in the starting lineup or will he have to earn it back? I think that if Martell struggles in the starting lineup then you probably will see Nicolas back in the starting lineup. Either him or Rudy will start at the 3 if Martell struggles. I'd probably lean more toward Rudy because when Nicolas comes back he'll have to ease back in so in my opinion you should only give Nicolas 15 to 20 minutes a night, if he comes back at all this season.
But to sum this all up, this doesn't mean the Blazers season will be vastly different then it would have been. I think without Batum it might take away maybe one or two wins due to the defensive presence that he brings. But the Blazers will be okay.