Who’s got next?
For the first time since 2012, Trail Blazers fans enter the NBA season knowing Damian Lillard won’t be a watch tap away from stepping into a game-saving three-pointer. But following trades that sent Dame to the Milwaukee Bucks and two core players to the Phoenix Suns — bye Nurk, bye Nassir — it’s time to get excited about the players who are on our roster.
Here are five new Blazers you absolutely need to know ahead of the home opener against the Orlando Magic on Friday, Oct. 27.
Scoot Henderson, No. 00
Headline writers can rejoice, Scoot’s only going to be known by one name. The second pick in this year’s draft is poised to contend for rookie of the year honors against an all-time field (just Google “Wemby” and find out). We could be looking at the next great Blazer guard to lace up their sneakers at the Moda Center.
Malcolm Brogdon, No. 92
There has been speculation whether Brogdon would be traded before the season, but (for now) the dependable guard is ready to suit up for his first game in Rip City.
Deandre Ayton, No. 2
The first pick in the 2018 draft had an up-and-down start to his career in Phoenix. All we know is that Ayton, at age 25, is already one of the best centers in the league. Oh, and he’s huuuge with a 7-ft-6-inch wingspan.
Robert Williams III, No. 35
Time Lord (a nickname borne from being late to events early in his career) is sure to be an instant hit in Portland after proving himself in front of the hard-to-please Boston fan base.
Toumani Camara, No. 33
We are going out on a limb with this pick, but the bouncy Belgian rookie has shown flashes of brilliance in pre-season games and could work his way into the team’s regular rotation.