Updated Portland Trail Blazers post-free agency roster, 2019-20 rotation

Portland Trail Blazers - Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Portland Trail Blazers - Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers - Nassir Little
Portland Trail Blazers – Nassir Little (Photo by Cassy Athena/Getty Images) /

Small Forward Rotation

Kent Bazemore – 24 MPG

Kent Bazemore will probably be the guy who gets the starting nod at small forward due to his defensive abilities, but don’t be surprised if he ends up getting less minutes than Hood in the long run. Bazemore’s more than capable as a defender and spot-up shooter and fits nicely with the starting unit, but a lack of shot creation and playmaking ability leave a lot to be desired.

This is the primary reason Bazemore has long been considered just a versatile role player instead of starter quality. For that reason, expect Hood to pick up a lot of the middling minutes at small forward. Either way, Bazemore is a big upgrade over Evan Turner when considering this team’s needs.

Mario Hezonja – 14 MPG

Mario Hezonja is a very interesting reclamation project who could easily outperform his minimum salary now that he’s in the right situation. After being drafted by the Orlando Magic and signing with the New York Knicks, Hezonja has been repeatedly let down by teams notorious for failing to develop their young talent.

Perhaps in Portland, Hezonja can find a fresh start. ‘Super Mario’ will likely see minutes at both the wing and power forward positions. Considering Bazemore is undersized for the wing, Hezonja can be utilized as a big body to help slow down the league’s most powerful forwards like LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo. If he could recapture his shooting stroke, Hezonja would quickly become a valuable commodity in the NBA.

Nassir Little – 7 MPG

Although there’s plenty reason to be excited for the former top five recruit to fall all the way down to the Portland Trail Blazers at No. 25, it is important to exercise a bit of patience. Last season, Anfernee Simons was the highly touted prospect that slipped into the Blazers lap, yet he only saw the court for 20 games and a total of 141 minutes.

Expect Nassir Little to receive the same treatment with how raw his game currently is. While he could become a very good player down the road, he’d likely be a liability in the Blazers pursuit of a championship next year.