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Trail Blazers Youth Weaker than Most NBA Teams

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In Frank Urbina’s ranking of each team’s players under 25, the Blazers came up short.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The strength of Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is not questionable. Averaging 48 points between them, Portland’s star backcourt dominates most opponents. After the top two, however, the roster gets shaky. The younger Blazers, in particular, carry a weaker perception. This became evident when Frank Urbina of HoopsHype ranked all 30 NBA teams by effectiveness of their players under the age of 25.

The Blazers came in fourth from the bottom in Urbina’s rankings, just ahead of Memphis, Golden State, and the Los Angeles Clippers.

The big Bosnian Jusuf Nurkic highlights the Portland Trail Blazers young core. He provides the team with much-needed toughness down low, and if he were to cut back on the turnovers and long two-point attempts, the Blazers will be all the better for it.

Urbina had light praise for Maurice Harkless and Zach Collins.

...when [Harkless is] clicking, he gives Portland a legit wing who can slash to the basket and defend multiple positions.

The book is still out on rookies Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan, but the former has been coming on a bit of late.

The other Blazers under 25 (Wade Baldwin III, Jake Layman) have played sparsely at best.

The low ranking should not be surprising, as Portland has only kept two first-round picks in the last four years, both in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The 76ers, Bucks, and Timberwolves scored the top three spots on Urbina’s list.