Portland Trail Blazers: 3 affordable former Blazers to consider signing this summer

Moe Harkless, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Moe Harkless, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Noah Vonleh, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

34. Pick Analysis. F / C. . player. Scouting Report. Noah Vonleh. 3

Blazer from: 2015-16 to 2017-18

Salary situation: MLE, unrestricted free agent in 2020

The 2019-20 season has been a rocky one for Noah Vonleh, a former lottery pick in 2014. Dating back to Jan. 17, he logged double-digit minutes just once. When granted playing time, though, he produced by far the most efficient season of his career,  and advanced stats say he didn’t hurt the Timberwolves as a defender, either.

The potential of Naz Reid played a part in his demise, and that led to a huge seven-player trade in early-February. Vonleh may as well be a musical artist on a world tour at this point. Since being traded in 2018, he’s played on four different teams.

Vonleh’s career in Denver has spanned just 17 minutes, and I’d be lying if I said I remembered anything about it. If I hazard a guess, that certainly doesn’t look very inspiring, as it relates to his chances of staying in the Mile High.

This offseason, Vonleh will again be a free agent, probably wondering if a team will ever have full faith in his abilities. He’s long, and his range has allowed him to be a solid defensive player.

Since entering the league, the former Hoosier has had only one season in he’s been a below average rim protector. In Portland, he made himself noteworthy by forcing opponents to shoot a whopping 10.7 percent worse within six feet of the basket in 2016-17.

He’s also proven he can space the floor. In 2019, the New York Knicks let him hoist up 137 3-pointers, and he hit at a respectable 33.6 percent rate. Career wise, he’s hit on 92, which is top-30 among bigs since 2014-15. For the Blazers, there are questions within the frontcourt, as to if they’ll keep Hassan Whiteside around in 2020, or how much faith they have in Caleb Swanigan.

Mutually, it makes sense. The only team other than New York to give Vonleh at least 1,000 minutes came with the Portland Trail Blazers.  Just as pivotal, the only team to keep Vonleh around for more than one season was the Portland Trail Blazers.

Even in the new team-hopping era in the NBA, a 24-year-old on his sixth team isn’t something worth bragging about. In Vonleh’s shoes,  I certainly understand the urgency of a big season in 2020-21 and if that’s the case, I’m going to a culture I’ve accoustomed to.

Next. Oden remains worst Draft pick in Blazers history. dark

Because he’s been moved for spare parts so often, the market probably won’t be crazy. Believe this: if teams wanted Vonleh, they certainly would have had him. Four different trades have proven that. He could be cheap, and maybe that’s enough for the Blazers to take a second bite.