What Marquese Chriss could bring to the Portland Trail Blazers

Marquese Chriss, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Marquese Chriss, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Like Dennis Smith Jr., Marquese Chriss has also earned a training camp deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. The organization is interested in taking an extended look at the young, but recently injured big man to see if he can prove to be a valuable addition for the upcoming 2021-2022 NBA season.

Chriss was drafted in the top-10 of the 2015 NBA draft due to his athleticism and fluidity for his size. He came into the league a prospect with promising versatility, but struggled to find his niche in his early career. Just when he started to find a role with the Golden State Warriors as a high-energy backup center, he fractured his right fibula in practice.

Now, the Blazers have to determine if Chriss’s injury is something that he can overcome and again be a meaningful contributor for a team with high expectations.

Marquese Chriss, Golden State Warriors
Marquese Chriss, Golden State Warriors (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Marquese Chriss could be a valuable addition for the Portland Trail Blazers

If Marquese Chriss is able to return to form, he could bring a lot to this Portland Trail Blazers squad and still has room to grow at only 24 years old.

What Marquese Chriss can provide for the Portland Trail Blazers: Depth at center

Currently, the Portland Trail Blazers only have two true centers on the roster: Jusuf Nurkic and Cody Zeller. Both of these players are prone to injury, so having a third center ready to suit up when called upon will be important for Portland.

There’s a very good chance that either Nurk or Zeller will miss an extended period of time at some point next season. There’s a risk that both could be shelved for a few games at the same time.

In this extremely unlikely, but definitely possible scenario, the Blazers would be stranded without a single rim protector. Having Marquese Chriss waiting on the wings would provide Portland with the necessary insurance in the case that one of their two current centers comes down with an ailment.