The Trail Blazers, outside of trading for Robert Covington, made a quartet of signings in the 2020 offseason in an effort to bolster their roster. Now 25 games into the 2020-21 regular season, Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale re-visited Portland’s offseason signings on Saturday.
Favale’s feature re-graded the signings that each team made in the offseason. Harry Giles III, Carmelo Anthony, Rodney Hood and Derrick Jones Jr. were placed under the spotlight for the section devoted to the Blazers. Favale gave Portland a “B” during his re-grading effort. Unsurprisingly, the assessment focused on the Blazers’ subpar defense.
On the one hand, the defense remains bottom-five material. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of adding Derrick Jones Jr. (and Robert Covington)? And there’s still a lot of Carmelo Anthony. Too much, perhaps.
The Harry Giles intrigue persists, but his minutes haven’t ratcheted up in the wake of Jusuf Nurkic’s absence. It probably has something to do with his overwhelmingly bad 48 percent clip around the rim. Rodney Hood’s face too frequently belongs on a milk carton.
Jones’ up-and-down style also caught Favale’s attention.
In the interest of complete and utter honesty: Jones continues to baffle me. He is a monster in transition, and the Blazers’ defensive pressure is noticeably peppier with him in the lineup. But some of his minutes unfold like high-intensity interval training without a discernible purpose. He sort of typifies their free-agency returns: uneven and imperfect but not without functional value.
Through 21 outings, Jones has averaged 7.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. The 23-year-old forward signed a two-year deal with the Blazers in the 2020 offseason. The second year of Jones’ deal features a player option.
You can check out Favale’s full list of updated grades at Bleacher Report.