Which of Portland’s trade deadline additions could be a late-blooming star?

Cam Reddish. Portland Trailblazers - Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Reddish. Portland Trailblazers - Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /
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With the risk of wasting another amazing season from arguably the greatest Trail Blazer ever, Damian Lillard, Portland made a flurry of trades to bolster their roster and make a late playoff push.

Out went Gary Payton II and Josh Hart and in came Kevin Knox, Matisse Thybulle, and Cam Reddish.

The three new wings have much in common on initial glance: All three were first round picks, all three fell out of their respective team’s rotations, and all three are best suited to a complementary role in the NBA.

The trades that brought each player to Portland (including the one that was almost hung up by a late revelation) were meant not to grab another star for the Blazers, but to get a better role playing forward to put alongside Lillard, Anfernee Simons, and Jerami Grant.

Instead of hoping that one player would be that guy, the Blazers took three bites at the apple to bring in Knox, Thybulle, and Reddish, with the hope that at least one of them could make a winning impact on their team.

Although they all play on the wing, each one offers a different package of skills that may help the team. But who can the Trail Blazers count on most in the final 23 games of the regular season to get back into the playoff picture?

Wing 1: What the Portland Trail Blazers should expect from Kevin Knox

Following a great freshman season at Kentucky, Kevin Knox entered the 2018 draft and found himself in New York City. A solid scoring rookie year wasn’t enough to lead to more minutes for the Knicks, and soon Knox found himself out of the rotation and out of the Big Apple.

Knox bounced from Atlanta to Detroit and now finally to Portland. He comes in as a young, moldable forward who has a good wingspan, shooting stroke, and athleticism.

That is, at least, how Knox would sell himself.

He hasn’t shot above 39 percent from three in a season where he’s taken more than three triples a game. He’s been a consistent net negative on defense, and he hasn’t developed any notable skills to affect the game outside of transition scoring and his occasional shooting.

It will soon be a familiar sight for Blazers fans to watch Knox struggle to hit shots or get an advantage on drives, despite the tough finish he showed to get his first bucket in Portland:

Given what he’s done, or rather what he hasn’t been able to do, it’s hard to think of Knox as anything other than a cheap flier to take for some minimal depth, not as a piece who can either help the Blazers become an offensive juggernaut or to do anything to help the team shore up their struggling defense.