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 - Pau Gasol
Portland Trail Blazers – Pau Gasol (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Center Rotation

Hassan Whiteside – 30 MPG

Another product of the disastrous 2016 NBA offseason, Hassan Whiteside was offered an enormous four-year, $98 million contract. Because of his albatross salary, many media personalities and fans alike started to undervalue his services. Even last year — which was seen as a disappointment — Whiteside averaged an incredible 12.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in just 23 minutes per game.

Now imagine what he will be capable of in a new environment with teammates and a coaching staff he enjoys playing for, while also receiving starting minutes once again. With Nurkic recovering from injury, Whiteside will have the better part of a season to showcase his talents. Maybe he’ll become the player that lead the entire NBA in rebounds and blocks again. Maybe he’ll become even better.

Pau Gasol – 10 MPG

Picked up as an insurance policy and to provide veteran leadership, Pau Gasol looks like a great deal on a veterans minimum. Truth be told, the two-time NBA champion doesn’t have much left in the tank. He’ll give his best effort for a dozen or less minutes per game until Nurkic returns.

Where his true value lies is as a mentor for the young core, especially Zach Collins. Having one of the most accomplished and respected players at Collins back should be huge for his personal development throughout the season. Ideally, Gasol can teach Collins how to stop committing so many fouls and hopefully add a move or two to his offensive arsenal. The Pau Gasol pick-and-pop may live long in the league even after he retires.

Jusuf Nurkic – 0 MPG*

If things go to plan, Jusuf Nurkic should be returning to the action sometime in February. Fortunately, the moves Portland made this summer means Nurkic won’t have to expedite his recovery and can focus on becoming 100 percent without pressure from the organization and the fan base. Once he’s back, it’s assumed he will assume Whiteside’s role as the starter for 24-28 minutes per game.

Upon his return, the Blazers will have the luxury of boasting one of the NBA’s best frontcourts or potentially flipping Whiteside for another star if he struggles. This is a very good problem to have. Until then, Portland anxiously waits the return of the Bosnian Beast.

Grading the Pau Gasol signing. dark. Next

And there you have it. The 2019-20 Portland Trail Blazers roster is set and ready to go, with enough versatility to make changes on the go. You better get used to them, because the rest of the league will be forced to as well when they storm the playoffs and steal the crown.