With less than a quarter of the regular season left, the Portland Trail Blazers need some help. They’re currently tied for 10th in the Western Conference and are facing the third-toughest schedule the rest of the way, which is a major roadblock to their playoff hopes.
They might have to turn to a surprising place like the NBA G-League to get some help.
They’ve already shored up their wing rotations at the trade deadline by bringing in Cam Reddish, Matisse Thybulle, and Kevin Knox II, but after injuries to Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons, the team is still in need of some reinforcements to get them over the finish line.
Enter the G-League. While there aren’t any diamonds in the rough waiting for the Blazers, there are a host of quality players who are currently available and could make an impact.
Let’s not get it twisted; none of the players I’m going to highlight are projected to be major difference makers. Some are older veterans, others are younger fliers, but all play a position of need for Portland and could slot in as a great final role player for the team.
Given how tight the playoff race has been so far, a marginal advantage like this might be all the Blazers need to get into the playoffs.
Gabe York, Fort Wayne Mad Ants
If you’ve heard of Gabe York before, you’re probably either an Arizona Wildcats fan, went to Orange Lutheran High School in California, or you watched his legendary high school mixtape a decade ago.
York never lived up to the hype he generated from that hype tape, but he was Second-Team All-PAC-12 at Arizona and has bounced around Europe’s professional leagues before landing at Fort Wayne.
In the G-League, York has been an offensive weapon. He ranks third on the team in scoring, second in steals, first in made threes per game, and is hitting his shots from deep at a 38.5 percent clip.
He’s a sniper with solid size from deep, something that the Blazers could use off of their bench:
While he wouldn’t play too many minutes, York’s sharpshooting could swing a game or two if he gets hot off of the bench.
With the playoff race so close and with an opening at shooting guard, he could be the perfect fit for an end-of-the-bench miracle.