The NBA’s pre-bubble transaction window is set to open later this week. With an open roster spot currently at their disposal, the Trail Blazers will have an opportunity to add depth prior to heading to Orlando for the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
The pool of eligible players is relatively wide open prior to the start of the NBA’s postseason schedule. Once the playoffs begin, teams can only sign players with limited professional experience (three years or fewer in the NBA). With the pre-postseason options in mind, here is a look at a handful of players that could potential hit the ground running with the Blazers.
Before getting to the list, here are the basic assumptions for the Blazers making a signing in the transaction window:
- The Blazers, after shipping out Skal Labissière at the deadline for next to nothing, are okay with adding salary late in the season. A player with two years worth of experience carries a $183,115 price tag for the remainder of the season.
- Portland is open to adding a new face while re-integrating both Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins into the lineup.
- At least one Blazers player decides not to travel with the team for the Orlando restart.
Anthony Tolliver - After a rocky stint with Portland to start the year, Tolliver was shipped to Sacramento in the trade that landed the Blazers Trevor Ariza. Tolliver was subsequently waived by the Kings and signed to a 10-day contract by the injury-depleted Grizzlies. Now at full strength in the frontcourt, Memphis is likely to part ways with the journeyman sharpshooter.
Tolliver isn’t the flashiest option on the market, but he is familiar with the Blazers system. If Portland is looking for plug-and-play depth, Tolliver fits the bill. The 35-year-old forward would make a much better fit as the fourth big man off the bench instead of a spot-duty starter in a second (third if you want to get technical) stint with the Blazers. Tolliver connected on 41.2 percent of his three-point attempts during his brief stint with the Grizzlies.
UPDATE: According to The New York Times NBA contributor Marc Stein, Tolliver is set to agree to a season-long deal with Grizzlies once the transaction window opens.
Allen Crabbe - The former Blazers draft pick is currently on the open market after he was waived by the Timberwolves in late February. Crabbe’s numbers have dipped significantly from his debut year with the Nets, but his floor-spacing skill set is still a marketable trait. Unfortunately for Crabbe, his once respectable three-point percentage has endured the same fate as his scoring output. In 37 appearances in the 2019-20 season, he connected on a pedestrian 30.3 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
Like Tolliver, Crabbe’s familiarity with the Blazers’ system might make him an option when the window opens.
Tim Frazier - The former Blazers reserve guard has played with four different NBA squads since departing Portland after 35 games in the in the 2015-16 season. Frazier is once again a free agent after being waived by the Pistons in February. The 29-year-old guard’s numbers don’t jump off the page, but he has shown that he can produce steady production as an offensive caretaker. Despite his relatively short stint in Portland, he has maintained a solid relationship with Damian Lillard. Frazier is a logical option if the Blazers decide to add a low-maintenance option that is familiar with the system and the team.
C.J. Miles - The 33-year-old Texas native was waived by the Wizards after suffering a wrist injury earlier in the season. The NBA’s hiatus might have granted Miles enough time to recover in time to rejoin a squad for the Orlando-based restart. Miles, a veteran of 14 NBA seasons, brings a defined skill to the table: floor spacing. When surrounded by the right teammates, Miles has proven he can shoot about 35 percent from distance.
Miles does not light up the marquee quite like DeMarcus Cousins or Jamal Crawford, but his useful shooting makes him an option for teams looking to bolster a specific area.