The Portland Trail Blazers are expected to be chasing trade and free agent acquisitions as the NBA Summer of 2023 gets underway in a couple weeks, but John Hollinger of The Athletic reminds us that the Blazers already possess a couple of desirable assets on the market. This week Hollinger ranked all free agent small forwards [subscription required], putting Thybulle fifth overall and Reddish 17th.
Both Thybulle and Reddish are restricted free agents, giving Portland the right to match any offers made to them in free agency.
Of Thybulle, Hollinger says:
The master of the “stock” stat, Thybulle once again led all non-centers in combined blocks and steals per 100 possessions. While he sometimes isn’t as fundamentally solid as you’d prefer from a defensive stopper, there is no question he’s a high-impact defender, especially in zones. The question is whether his offense can keep him on the floor long enough for teams to benefit from his defense. Thybulle made some strides in that department last season, improving to 36.5 percent from 3 and cutting down on the tragic turnovers. Nevertheless, opponents will still dare him to fire away and count on him to make poor decisions if he puts it on the floor. He’s in a good spot, because Portland needs his defense and can survive his offense. The Blazers will retain matching rights on Thybulle by making a $6.3 million qualifying offer, which should be an easy decision. Thybulle’s offense may get exposed in late playoff rounds, but for the Blazers, getting there is 98 percent of the problem, and his defense should be a big help on this roster.
And of Reddish:
The good news is that Reddish finally mastered scoring inside the arc last season, making a career-high 56.0 percent of his 2s after never clearing 46.0 percent in his first three seasons. The bad news is that he still can’t shoot (32.2 percent career from 3) and he still turns it over way too much with his loose handle. At the other end, Reddish is big (6-8) and has fast hands, which theoretically could make him a lockdown wing, but he’s yet to translate that into plus defensive performance over a longer stretch.He’s in an interesting spot with Portland....
...The Blazers can make Reddish a restricted free agent with a $7.7 million qualifying offer, but one hardly sees the need for doing so given that his likely market is less. Given Portland’s need to manage its tax situation, one wonders if a one year-minimum with a second-year player option is the best outcome; that would allow the Blazers to maintain Bird Rights and pay him a year from now if he breaks out.
NBA Free Agency begins in July.