Should the Portland Trail Blazers hang on to Drew Eubanks?
The 6’9 25-year-old was originally signed back on February 22, not long after the Portland Trail Blazers announced starting center Jusuf Nurkic would be sidelined with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, which would be re-evaluated in four weeks. Drew Eubanks was traded to the Toronto Raptors fron the San Antonio Spurs, waived by his new team, and subsequently signed with Portland on a 10-day contract.
He’s since earned his second 10-day with the team.
Before the trade, he appeared in 49 games for San Antonio, averaging 4.7 points and 4.0 rebounds. Since arriving in Portland, he’s elevated his numbers with 9.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in a little over 22 minutes per game.
As Eubanks is the only true big man available to Portland, it has been very obvious they have been outmanned at center, as seen in recent games against the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokić (6’11”) and Phoenix Suns’ Deandre Ayton (6’11”).
With the Trail Blazers’ severe lack of size and established talent, Portland may continue to keep Eubanks on 10-day contracts until the end of the season.
This will allow them to give him an extended evaluation and see if he has a true future with the Blazers.
At the least, his youth, athleticism, and stability provide a more surefire backup option to Nurk than Cody Zeller this season.
At his age, Portland may be counting on him to further develop some of the tertiary skills he’s shown thus far in the league.
Without a true standout trait, though, the Trail Blazers may be better off searching in free agency or in the draft for another center.
Aside from a big body, Eubanks doesn’t offer much outside of simply rim-rolling and positional defense. If he can show some promise as an interior defender or low-post threat in the Blazers’ final 20 games, he might be able to earn a multi-year contract with Portland.