Over the years there have been players who, the Portland Trail Blazers have either traded, or let walk in free agency. Fans and perhaps the Blazers themselves likely wonder why that player was traded, or not brought back.
Here are some of those particular players who were on the Blazers roster at least five years ago, where they are now, their numbers while in “Rip City” and currently.
Players who should have remained Portland Trail Blazers
The brother of future hall of fame member, and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry. The youngest Curry brother signed a two-year contract with Portland in the summer of 2018 (the second year was a player option). Curry could likely be one of the best three-point shooters the team had seen in recent years, shooting 45 percent on threes, 7.9 points per game in a backup guard role. He played one season in Portland. He helped the team get to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2000. Currently, he plays for his father-in-law (Doc Rivers) who is the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers where this season he is averaging a career-high 15.8 points per game.
It’s a shame that Curry wanted out of Rip City, as the team could use his steady outside accuracy and budding offensive creation.
Enes Kanter Freedom:
Freedom could have been a member of the Blazers three times if, in 2015 the Oklahoma City Thunder didn’t match Portland’s four-year, $70 million offer sheet. He officially signed with Portland on February 13, 2019 after being waived by the Knicks. Like Curry, Freedom was part of the 2019 Conference Finals team. He on occasion rotated as a starter at center with Meyers Leonard, as Jusuf Nurkic was out with a leg injury. He later signed with the Boston Celtics that next offseason, was traded to the Blazers the summer of 2020, and is now back with the Celtics. In his first season in Portland, he appeared in 23 games, averaging 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds. Last season, he put up 11.2 points and 11 rebounds, including the 30 rebound game on April 10, 2021, which no player had accomplished since Dwight Howard in 2000. Currently, his numbers are down with the Celtics, 4.1 points, and 4.9 rebounds per game.
While his defense was highly scrutinized in his tenure with the Trail Blazers, Portland has shown that they need a reliable third big behind Nurkic and Cody Zeller. Kanter would have been perfect in that role.
Whiteside was traded to the Trail Blazers in 2019, for Maurice Harkless and Leonard to the Miami Heat. Whiteside excitedly announced, “we’ve got shooters!” when he found out he was traded. He was part of Portland’s roster in the Orlando Bubble and during that season (also filling in for Nurkic), he averaged 15.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks per game. He has since signed free agent contracts with the Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz. Currently, with Utah, his numbers are down as well, 8.2 points and 6.8 boards per game. There were reports that Portland tried to pursue Whiteside this past offseason, but according to the same reports, he chose to sign with the Jazz instead.