Despite drifting precariously close to missing the Playoffs for the first time since 2012-13, the Portland Trail Blazers have, at the very least, uncovered a few hidden gems. In his recent “10 Things” feature, ESPN’s NBA Senior Writer Zach Lowe illustrated one of those in Trendon Watford.
Across two different frontcourt positions, Watford — who recently had his two-way deal converted to a four-year, $5.8 million contract — has become a featured option in the Blazers’ offense. Most often, he uses a soft touch through his work from floater range, where, as Lowe notes, he’s shooting 51 percent from this season.
Watford flicks up this bad boy out of all kinds of actions: face-up drives; coast-to-coast takes, some with Eurosteppy finishes; quarterback keeper-style fake handoffs; and via a bruising post-up game that has proven effective against guards on switches
Lowe also praised Watford’s ability to play hard and his athleticism when it comes to defending multiple positions in pick-and-roll switches. In accessing him long-term, he gave a prediction on what Watford could end up being going forward.
Watford probably tops out as a solid backup, but that’s a nice find; Portland nabbed Watford on a two-way deal after he went undrafted, and then bumped him up to a three-year contract.
Over the last eight games, he’s averaging 15.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game on 47-30-88 percentage splits.