With all the roster turnover this past summer, Portland Trail Blazers fans will spend the early part of the season playing "Who's Who" with the new roster. To give you a head start we've listed all the Blazers players with their position and uniform number. We also asked three Blazer's Edge staff members--David MacKay, Eric Griffith, and Brandon Goldner--to say the first thing that came to mind when each player's name was mentioned.
Here's your beginner's guide to the 2015-16 Portland Trail Blazers.
Mason Plumlee 6'11" 235lb C, 3rd year, #24
David MacKay: One of the better overall athletes at his position. Predominantly operates at the rim. Not a particularly impressive shooter, but he'll dunk a lot in the halfcourt offense as well as in transition.
Eric Griffith: Offensive rebounds and inside scoring. Should be able to put the "roll" back in "pick and roll" and will pair well with Leonard on both ends.
Brandon Goldner: A mobile big who will be a great release valve for Lillard on pick and rolls. Much more mobile than RoLo, but not nearly the defensive presence.
Moe Harkless 6'9" 215lb PF, 4th year, #4
DM: A versatile swingman with above average speed. Subpar mid-range shooter, but he is smart about getting to the rim and is most comfortable in the open court. Gambles on defense more successfully than most.
EG: Desperately needed a change of scenery after falling out of the rotation in Orlando. He could develop into Portland's surprise 3&D threat.
BG: An athletic freak who got buried in Orlando and will get a second chance with the Blazers. Inconsistent shooter whose confidence issue may clear up with a better-defined role and consistent minutes.
Damian Lillard 6'3" 195lb PG, 4th year, #0
DM: *Cue Donkey Kong theme*He's the leader of the bunch, you know him well. He's finally back to kick some tail. Great range, not afraid to take big shots or attack, needs work on defense.
EG: Must get back on track from deep. 34% three point shooting will not cut it anymore.
BG: The franchise player and elite scorer and playmakers whose much-squawked-about defensive limitations should have been a point of emphasis during the offseason. Will threaten league leaders in scoring.
Meyers Leonard 7'1" 245lb PF, 4th year, #11
DM: A hybrid-center that pulls the defense out with efficient shooting from deep, although sometimes he is too hesitant when left open. Defense is a work in progress.
EG: Mismatches for dayzzzz. During the preseason it seemed that Leonard had also developed some sneaky good court vision and passing ability at the wing position.
BG: Developing young player whose confidence issues have belied his otherworldly physical ability. Three-point shooting having been found, the Blazers will need fair-to-OK defense for him to push 30 minutes consistently.
CJ McCollum 6'4" 200lb SG, 3rd year, #3
DM: The resident 3-point specialist. Everything about his shot is pretty. He has a nice floater too, but tends to shy from contact at the rim. Could stand to improve balance when driving.
EG: Consistency is needed if he ever hopes to become a reliable 6th man or starter on a contending team. Against certain teams, McCollum's lack of defense will preclude playing CJ and Dame together for long stretches, so McCollum will likely be capped as a Mo Williams-type sixth man in Portland.
BG: A first-tier scorer in the making who will be asked to handle the ball more this year as backup point guard. With minutes and a well-slotted spot in the rotation, look for him to push 20+ points on the regular, perhaps threatening 40 a few times.
Allen Crabbe 6'6" 210lb SG, 3rd year #23
DM: Guards multiple positions well. Not much for creating his own shot, but he is good in catch-and-shoot situations. Has a talent for leaking out in transition.
EG: Last season he was totally nondescript on the court. His hair will make him easier to pick him out, but it's still unclear if he is anything more than a "replacement level" player.
BG: Long, capable wing whose NBA shooting has never reached his billing as a college player. Has showed a much-improve midrange game and will be asked to grow even more on this young team.
Chris Kaman 7'0" 265lb C, 13th year, #35
DM: Savvy veteran with an impressive bag of tricks in the post. Finishes well with his left just as well as his right. Too old to regularly play extended minutes, though, and turnovers are an issue.
EG: Wait...he's still on the team?
BG: A one-time All-Star whose offensive chops fail him more often than not, and dirt slow. Has resigned himself to a mentorship role, particular with Meyers Leonard, and will log plenty of DNP-CD's.
Gerald Henderson 6'5" 215lb SG, 7th year, #9
DM: Hard-nosed defensive wing with a proclivity for dunking where there is room for it. Serviceable on offense; especially from mid-range.
EG: Was he more than a throw-in for Vonleh?
A low-end starting-caliber shooting guard with big hops who is the least-best fit for this developing team. Still in his mid-20s, will be dangled as trade bait as the Blazers may have already proven during the preseason that he's not needed on the court.
Noah Vonleh 6'10" 240lb PF, 2nd year, #21
DM: Brimming with potential at 20 years old. Finishes well around the rim and isn't shy about throwing his weight around. Could fill coveted "stretch-4" role with above average 3-point shooting.
EG: Question mark. He has played so few meaningful minutes it's difficult to know anything about Vonleh on the court. His top priority this season will be to show the coaches and fans that he has clearly defined strengths, or clear potential strengths, that can help him become a contributor.
BG: A very young, coordinated, big, and court-savvy player who got buried on his old team last year. Has star potential, and will be given plenty of minutes as he continues to learn the NBA game: get excited as he seems to be the real deal.
Tim Frazier 6'1" 170lb PG, 2nd year, #10
DM: Arguably the best court vision on the team, but an average shooter at best. Might see improvement from deep after a summer focused on increasing range. Size (6'1") is not ideal for matching up defensively.
EG: Speedy. Seems like he was signed as a practice player for Lillard to match up against last season but stuck around once the rebuild started.
BG: A friend of Damian Lillard who tore up the D-League last year and succeeds with the ball in his hands, something that may not happen much in the NBA. Will get few minutes, but by all accounts is a good locker room presence and still has some potential.
Al-Farouq Aminu 6'9" 215lb SF, 6th year, #8
DM: Strong defender with a springy athleticism that serves him well in the open court. Can play both forward positions if needed for small ball. Poor jump shooter.
EG: Solid perimeter defensive skills make him a front runner of the starting SF job this year, but his poor shooting likely relegates him to the bench on a playoff team. He should see more open looks in Stotts' offense so his shooting percentage may rise.
BG: Has been billed as the best defensive player the Blazers have had in years, but needs a more consistent outside game to thrive in Coach Stotts' system. Drafted by Neil Olshey with the Clippers, and will probably be a long-term piece of the team's core.
Ed Davis 6'10" 240lb PF, 6th year, #17
DM: Another strong defender. Smart about rotating off the weak side to prevent the drive. Good for rebounds on both ends of the floor and thrives in the pick-and-roll, but lacks offensive versatility.
EG: His playing style resembles Plumlee's in many ways (offensive rebounding, inside scoring, PnR defense), but Davis lacks any kind of post game. ***Insert obligatory Tristan Thompson joke here.***
BG: All heart and hustle, an offensive rebounding terror who may lead the team in blocks. Will be logjammed behind a few other bigs, but may become a fan favorite for his attitude and tenacity.
Cliff Alexander 6'8, 240lb PF, Rookie, #34
DM: Solid rebounder that generates second chance opportunities. Moves well, given a large frame that is mostly muscle. Probably not a scorer, but a reasonable hustle player.
BG: An undrafted player whose physical talents alone make him an NBA consideration. Will struggle to earn a spot in the rotation, and probably needs a year of behind-the-scenes development before making a long-term judgements.
Luis Montero 6'7" 185lb SG, Rookie, #44
DM: Reasonable shooting mechanics, but otherwise very raw. Unlikely to see the court often enough to get a better sense of him as a player this year.
EG: Lucky to be on the roster. Coaches must see some upside to his game that merits keeping him on the team.
BG: From a community college to the NBA, the most unknown of unknowns and unproven of unproven. Very long, a Nicolas Batum clone without the talent that the team is happy to take a low-risk flyer on.
Pat Connaughton 6'5" 206 lb SG, Rookie, #5
DM: Truly excellent 3-point shooter with a jaw-dropping 44-inch vertical (highest in pre-draft history is 46 inches). Will likely be buried more often than not, but is great tool to have in the shed.
EG: Super athletic MLB-level pitching prospect with some shooting touch? Could the Blazers have found a poor man's Danny Ainge?
BG: An elite athlete who has shown himself to be more competent than his 2nd-round drafting would suggest. May find a spot on an NBA team given his intelligence and athletic prowess, and has a decent shot to boot.