The Portland Trail Blazers decided to go into the regular season only 14 deep, waiving guards Anthony Morrow, Archie Goodwin and Isaiah Briscoe.
With the preseason ending and the season that will actually count reaching its opening turn, roster moves become nit picky, but very important. Enter The Portland Trail Blazers entered that exact situation after Friday night.
The team announced it has guards Anthony Morrow, Isaiah Briscoe, and Archie Goodwin. All three players were signed earlier this offseason. All three had also hoped to earn the 15th and final roster spot for the Blazers.
Unfortunately, general manager Neil Olshey and head coach Terry Stotts felt it was better to not keep any of the three and keep the team at 14 players. Morrow, Briscoe and Goodwin performed fairly impressively during the preseason, making their cuts very surprising.
Briscoe averaged 6.1 points per game, 2.3 assists per game, and less than one rebound per game during the preseason. Morrow averaged 4.8 points per game, and less than one rebound and assist per game, respectively.
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Goodwin averaged 7.3 points per game, including 23 in the preseason finale, 2 rebounds and less than one assist per game.
Briscoe played in all six games, Morrow played in five and Goodwin played in four. All three shot incredibly well and will most likely find a roster spot on another team soon. Goodwin and Briscoe are both young with potential, while Morrow is a proven role veteran.
As for why the team didn’t keep any one of the three, there are many potential answers. The first involved the money Portland saves both in the luxury tax region and for future contracts, specifically Jusuf Nurkić’s looming contract renewal.
Keeping just 14 players on the payroll saves paper. The other reason is greater flexibility for this season. Instead of commuting to one guard, the team is probably leaving the spot open in case of an injury or sudden trade. It would be much easier to replace when the options expand to all 5 positions, not just one.
Having any three of those men on the team would have created greater depth and a bit more fun for the year. However, the smartest choice was to keep the roster low along with cap costs. Let’s see if Portland has any tricks up their sleeve before top off next week.