Grading the play of the Trail Blazers who were handed bigger roles in 2023

Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers - Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers - Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 6
Cam Reddish, Portland Trail Blazers
Cam Reddish, Portland Trail Blazers – Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports /

Cam Reddish: C-

Of the wings that the Blazers brought in at the trade deadline to make a playoff push, Reddish was the most intriguing. He’d had a few failed landing spots throughout his tenure in the league, but with an expanded role and more freedom to explore his game, the hope was that Reddish would be able to make a bigger impact on winning.

So far, that hasn’t happened. Although his scoring is up, all of Reddish’s shooting numbers are in line with his past career splits. That’s not a good thing, as efficiency has been his biggest issue on the offensive end.

The only thing that’s helped his counting stats has been an increase in shots, but that doesn’t mean he’s actually much better than he was when he played in Atlanta or New York.

For Reddish to actually become even a rotation wing for a playoff team, he’s going to either need to become a better shooter or start contributing in other ways. Given his defensive dearth, it’s unclear which one he can do, and the longer it takes, the less likely it is that Reddish can capitalize on his lofty potential.

Jabari Walker: C-

Just a few picks before the last in the draft, the Blazers selected Jabari Walker out of Colorado. Despite his great length, instincts on defense, and burgeoning shooting stroke, there were few hopes that Walker would be a second-round steal who could make some noise in his rookie year.

That hasn’t panned out, although it isn’t too big of a deal. Walker is still a raw prospect, needing more seasoning, reps, and experience at the highest level to be ready for the bright lights of the league.

With Lillard out, Walker’s gotten more rotation minutes, but he hasn’t done much of note so far.

Given the low expectations for Walker in his first year in the NBA, the fact that he is getting onto the floor, even in garbage time, is a testament to him as a player. Although he has a long way to go, it’s a subtly important way for Walker to start his career – being able to see minutes despite his lack of polish.