Bigger Role Candidate #3: Trendon Watford
Trendon Watford’s rise has already been documented, but he’s a clear candidate to see more playing time next year. After bouncing around the garbage time minutes of the Blazers and sparing G League opportunities, Watford strung together a handful of impactful games toward the end of the season that speaks to the positive impact he could have with more playing time.
The center of Watford’s appeal comes from his funky inside scoring and versatile game outside of putting the ball in the hoop. He has great footwork, timing, and touch, all of which make him a great short-roll passer and playmaker. The passing and defense are still in the works, but he’s shown enough to command a larger role for Portland:
What that role could be is still up for debate – the forward core of the Blazers will be one of the most heavily affected by roster movement this year – but Watford is on a team-friendly deal that keeps him tied to the team for the near future.
Whether he’s the first power forward off the bench or not, Watford should be one of the few players Chauncey Billups can count on to stabilize the offense when one of the star guards sits, which is a much more significant role than he had this year.