On this week’s edition of Blazer’s Edge Radio, the discussion turned to Portland Trail Blazers rookie forward Jaylen Hoard, who has seen an increased role over the past few games. The Wake Forest product logged 17 minutes against both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks, and appears to have passed first-round pick Nassir Little in coach Terry Stotts’ rotation.
Due to Hoard’s two-way contract, he can only spend up to 45 days with the team this season. While it is unclear exactly how many service days the youngster has accumulated to this point, he has played in 10 games, so it’s safe to assume the total is at least double that, and probably more. Hoard has been called up throughout the season from the G League out of necessity, but was progressed from warm body to intriguing prospect during his tenure in Portland. While he isn’t a strong shooter, he has shown an ability to get to the rim in addition to his work on the defensive end of the floor.
The Blazers have an open roster spot, in addition to the Disabled Player Exception created by Rodney Hood’s injury (see this piece for details) and appear unimpressed with the current free agent market. This would seem to open the door for them to convert Hoard’s contract to a guaranteed deal when his current one expires.
Of course, with the team already well in the luxury tax, taking on an additional contract would only add to their rising tax bill—and may be the biggest deterrent against doing so, particularly for an unproven player. If they see him as a potential piece moving forward, however, it’s probably worth the investment. Either way, we probably won’t see anything happen until after the February 6th trade deadline.
Would you like to see the Blazers convert Hoard’s contract, or would you rather the team look in another direction? Let us know in the comments and be sure to tune-in to Blazer’s Edge Radio every Tuesday at noon on XRAY FM!
Catch an archived version of this week’s show here.