The Portland Trail Blazers have been hit hard by COVID. We have some suggestions for players they could target as replacements.
The Portland Trail Blazers had skated through the COVID era relatively unscathed through the bubble and the shortened 2020-2021 season. They even made it to December of this year until the virus hit.
But when it did, it took out eight Blazers: the head coach, two starters, and five reserves. Ben McLemore and Dennis Smith, Jr. returned to face the Lakers on New Year’s Eve, but with the way the new variants of the virus are spreading, this is unlikely to be the last time the roster needs some emergency patchwork.
The Trail Blazers COVID situation is currently the league’s third worst
In the past few days, the Blazers have signed Reggie Perry, Cameron McGriff, Jarron Cumberland, and Brandon Williams to 10-day hardship contracts. There are currently more than 70 hardship signings occupying NBA roster spots, and the number is growing.
Eventually, the traditional pools of players in the NBA G League and the various upper echelon European leagues will be exhausted: there are only so many Jeremy Lins and Isaiah Thomases out there.
Before too long, teams will be digging deeper for replacements, and the most successful front offices will be those who can manage to put aside the traditional notions that have guided scouting for decades.
And once again, we here at Rip City Project are willing to step forward and give the process an assist by pointing out three amazing athletes outside the usual talent pools that could give the Trail Blazers the chance to recover from a bad start and at least one virus outbreak.