Watch to watch for during Trail Blazers summer league #3: Last chance fliers
It’s hard to totally dub anything as “the last chance” for a team that will see a major renovation over the next few seasons, but that’s precisely why players like Keon Johnson, Justin Minaya, and Nate Williams should consider this their last shot to make themselves untouchable in the team’s eyes.
Johnson has had an up-and-down career so far, barely earning minutes with the Clippers before a mid-season trade to the Trail Blazers opened up touches and minutes for him. He wasn’t able to build upon that in his first full season with the team, but if he can use his great athleticism to do more than just run the floor in transition, there may still be a spot for him on the bench:
Both Minaya and Williams had some solid stints for the team during iyd end-of-season run to the basement of the NBA, but neither has flashed enough of a “can’t-miss” skill to deserve their place on an NBA roster. Either one has enough athletic juice and hustle to play well at summer league, but their development outside of that will determine their futures.
No one would ever claim that any of Johnson, Minaya, or Williams will grow into future stars or even starters for the Blazers in their next era of basketball, but a good summer league run in which they can establish themselves is reason enough for fans to get excited about watching players they know grow their games and earn themselves life-changing money.