Blazers free agency need No. 4: Playmakers (that aren’t point guards)
After selecting Henderson at No. 3 overall, Portland has a log jam of talented guards. Currently on the roster is Lillard, Henderson, Simons, and Sharpe. All are extremely talented, but all, besides Lillard, are also young and have yet to reach their prime.
Because of their overlapping skill sets, a future move involving one of the four players might be made. Regardless, they still are in need of playmakers outside of their guard positions.
This season, Portland was 22nd among NBA teams in assists at 24.2 per game. They also came in at 27th overall in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.67. Henderson is an extremely exciting addition from a long-term aspect but, last year in the G League, he averaged 3.4 turnovers per game.
The addition of Henderson might help next year, but he also has a relentless, downhill attacking style of play. That style of play likely won’t help Portland’s abysmal turnover problem, especially early on in his career.
If Portland decides to keep Henderson and the rest of the rookie draft class on the roster, it’s essential that they also add playmakers who do a good job of controlling the ball and maximizing possessions.
Draymond Green had a great assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.45 per game last season and is the standout free agent that Portland should target as a playmaker who isn’t a point guard.
Ingles is a cheaper alternative if the Blazers can’t land Draymond. Last season, Ingles had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.73 per game. Ingles could be ideal veteran wing depth and a solid playmaker that Portland could obtain for a reasonable contract.
Donte DiVincenzo had a solid assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.25. He has two-way ability as a scorer and defender and is an improved playmaker who can set others up. Bruce Brown had a great ratio as well at 2.18 and is a player is capable of guarding multiple positions.
But if you sign Ingles, Brown, or DiVincenzo, you likely wouldn’t expect them to play starter minutes. You would be in it for their high basketball IQs and abilities to bring valuable playmaking and shooting to the table.
Of all the players mentioned, Draymond Green is the only one who fits the criteria of being mentioned in all four slides, showcasing his importance and suitability for all of the Blazers’ current needs.