The dust has settled from the Trial Blazers’ exit from postseason competition. Free agency, roster construction and the NBA Draft have crept into everyday conversation in Rip City. Before we turn the page on the longest season in the Blazers’ 50-year history, let’s take another look at the players that populated the roster during that journey.
Our first installment looked at three players that did not go the distance with Portland. Today’s review focuses on a trio of youngsters that spent the majority of the season developing in the G League.
Games: 13 | PTS: 2.9 | REB: 2.5 | FG%: 46.9
Following tumultuous year at Wake Forest, Hoard found stable ground inside an organization that has a solid track record of developing passed-over talent. His production from the NBA season are slightly misleading; the 21-year-old forward did the majority of his work with the Texas Legends as a rookie.
In 24 games in the G League, Hoard was a consistent producer. He averaged 16.2 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. From the field, the former top recruit shot an efficient 51.8 percent. From beyond the arc, Hoard converted just 22 percent of his attempts. Scoring aside, Hoard has shown that he is capable of impacting the game in the margins. It might not pop in the box score, but Hoard is an instinctive rebounder—a valuable trait for teams with suspect defenses that need to limit second-chance opportunities.
Hoard finished the year on a two-way contract, leaving the window open for the Blazers to easily retain him moving forward. He isn’t the flashiest young prospect on the roster, but his potential to blossom into a blue-collar big does provide a serviceable floor to his NBA profile. If Hoard unlocks a few tools on the offensive end, he would become an enticing small-ball five option.
Games: 9 | PTS: 1.2 | REB: 1.6 | FG%: 40.0
Like Hoard, Brown’s development took place in the G League last season. With the Legends, Brown posted averages of 14.6 points and 7.6 rebounds in 30 appearances. Working primarily around the rim, the former UCLA center converted 64.8 percent of his attempts from the field.
Brown’s NBA future is directly tied to his size. At 7’2, the 20-year-old big fella has a clear shot of becoming a useful vertical spacer in rim-running actions. The rest of his game, well, it is raw and needs developing. Brown did not rejoin the Blazers after the NBA’s hiatus, so his future in Portland looks murky at this time.
Games: 3 | PTS: 2.0 | AST: 0.7 | FG%: 33.3
Adams’ addition to the Blazers’ roster marked the only pre-bubble move for Portland. Considering that Adams was the only player that triggered action, it is fair to assume that the Blazers imagine that the former G League standout might fit inside a future role. In what equated to an extended training camp look, Adams participated in Portland’s bubble preparations and made three brief appearances in the postseason.
Prior to his arrival in Portland, Adams was part of a dynamic two-man backcourt tandem with the Wisconsin Herd. In 33 games, the 24-year-old guard posted 21.5 points and 5.7 assists per game. His production did not go unnoticed, as he finished just behind Frank Mason, his teammate with the Herd, in G League MVP voting.
It is tough to determine if Adams has a future with the Blazers now that the season has concluded. We do know that Adams was specifically targeted and point guard depth is an area that Portland could address in the offseason.