The Portland Trail Blazers remain in flux after a 7-19 start to the season. Everybody thinks the Blazers have potential. Nobody believes they’re in their final form yet.
This week Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report compiled a list of potential mid-season free agent pick-ups for all 30 NBA teams as they continue to grow. For the Blazers, he cited 6’6 wing Jarrett Culver.
The Damian Lillard-less Trail Blazers should be fully focused on their future. Every move they make must be made with an intent to brighten that outlook.
Doing so while shopping in the NBA’s equivalent of the day-old bakery obviously won’t be easy, but what would Portland stand to lose by being the next team that attempts to unlock Jarrett Culver’s potential? Remember, this league once valued the 6’6” swingman enough to make him the No. 6 pick of the 2019 draft.
Granted, that was four-plus years and three NBA teams ago, but he’s only 24, so there might still be some time for him to turn the corner. The odds that he’ll pan out aren’t great—he’s a bad shooter from every level—but Portland should have enough patience to see whether his defense and athleticism can form something more interesting than he’s been to this point.
Culver is a four-year veteran, originally drafted by the Phoenix Suns. The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired him in trade two weeks later. He spent two years in Minneapolis, a single season with the Memphis Grizzlies, and played 10 games last year for the Atlanta Hawks. He holds career averages of 6.5 points and 2.8 rebounds in 17.2 minutes per game, shooting 40.1% from the floor and 27.6% from the three-point arc.
Buckley also mentioned former Trail Blazers forward Justise Winslow as a candidate for the Atlanta Hawks, Blazers alum Will Barton in a return to the Denver Nuggets, and forward Wenyen Gabriel as a target for the Washington Wizards.