Portland Trail Blazers: Ranking every projected bench in the NBA

Portland Trail Blazers, bench, NBA (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Portland Trail Blazers, bench, NBA (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Devin Vassell, Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs
Devin Vassell, Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

Solid: the top-20 benches in the NBA

16. Charlotte Hornets

Projected Bench:

G – Ish Smith

G – James Bouknight

F – Kelly Oubre Jr.

F – Miles Bridges

C – Kai Jones

Depending on how highly you regard Bouknight and Kai Jones here, this ranking could feel a little low. Miles Bridges has transcended his original label of athletic specimen and is now a fine-tuned, all-around rock star who nearly completed a 50-40-90 season last year.

Ish Smith is solid and Oubre could experience a renaissance playing on an extremely fun and bouncy squad led by LaMelo Ball.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this unit turns out to be a top-10 bench in the NBA.

17. Memphis Grizzlies

Projected Bench:

G – Tyus Jones

G – De’Anthony Melton

F – Desmond Bane

F – Xavier Tillman Jr.

C – Brandon Clarke

The Memphis Grizzlies organization should be lauded for their ability to unearth solid talent late in the draft.

This group of young guys is extremely solid, especially on the defensive end. If the Grizz can find one or two to breakout in a major way, they’ll be returning to the postseason in no time.

18. Washington Wizards

Projected Bench:

G – Aaron Holiday

G – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

F – Deni Avdija

F – Davis Bertans

C – Montrezl Harrell

I was actually pleasantly surprised looking through the Wizards depth chart. The club is certainly still in danger of losing Bradley Beal, their biggest star since Agent Zero suited up for them, but it won’t be for a lack of trying.

The frontcourt of this bench is practically swiss cheese on defense, but if Holiday and KCP can clamp down on the point of attack, this squad has plenty of firepower to match buckets with any other second-team in the league.

19. Houston Rockets

Projected Bench:

G – D.J. Augustin

G – Eric Gordon

F – Danuel House Jr.

F – Kenyon Martin Jr.

C – Alperen Sengun

I wouldn’t expect the veterans on this team to finish the season in Houston. The Rockets could get some significant future assets if they sell off their perimeter backups to teams vying for the championship.

In the meantime though, the Rockets have an extremely well-rounded reserve unit to relieve a promising young core. This team could turn out to be a pretty fun League Pass regular.

20. San Antonio Spurs

Projected Bench:

G – Tre Jones

G – Lonnie Walker IV

F – Devin Vassell

F – Thaddeus Young

C – Drew Eubanks

This bench is reliant on some solid prospects that could experience significant breakouts next season. Tre Jones, like the guards in front of him in the rotation, Dejounte Murray and Derrick White, is a player whose defense has far exceeded his offensive capabilities thus far in his young career.

Lonnie Walker IV has star potential, but has yet to become a consistent weapon.

The name to watch on this squad is Devin Vassell, though. The San Antonio Spurs have quietly drafted some of the biggest steals in recent years, but due to their small market and relatively unsuccessful seasons of late, have gone under the radar.

This is another bench that has an extremely high ceiling and could be a quick riser.