Former Trail Blazers Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier discussed how it feels to be traded in a story published by ESPN’s Ian Begley. Davis was dealt by Toronto to Memphis back in January 2013 in a deal that tested his sense of loyalty as a player. Napier, meanwhile, had to handle being traded two summers in a row: Shabazz moved from Miami to Orlando before coming to Portland in July 2016.
Both Davis and Napier are upfront about the difficulties in being traded, but Shabazz spoke fondly of his time in Portland:
It was great for me to go to Portland. At that point in time in my career my confidence was very low. I didn’t believe I even belonged in the NBA. It was just like, where did my talents go? It’s almost like Space Jam, I put my hand on the ball and my talents were taken away. [In Portland] it was more about playing against Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in practice every single day and learning from two of the elite guards, which I’m very thankful for. I got to go up against CJ and Dame and learn from those guys, be a sponge.
In two seasons in Portland, Napier was featured in Head Coach Terry Stotts’ starting lineup on 12 occasions. After producing 3.7 points per game in 55 outings with the Magic, Napier put his career back on track by averaging 6.8 points with the Blazers.
Napier and Davis ended up in Brooklyn via free agency in 2018, where they have both made key contributions to their new team. Suffice it to say, Rip City misses these two former fan favorites.
You can read Begley’s full post at ESPN.