Worst offseason move No. 3: Waiving Trendon Watford
After being waived, Trendon Watford ended up signing with the Brooklyn Nets. This decision to waive Watford was a complete head-scratcher. Regardless of whether Lillard wanted to stay in Portland, keeping Watford seemed like an inevitable move the Blazers would make this offseason.
In only his second year in the NBA, Watford averaged 7.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists for the Blazers in 19.1 minutes per game. Given Portland’s porous season, emerging talents like Watford, who was undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft, was one of the highlights.
The 6-foot-8 Watford is an ideal modern-day forward who can handle the ball, find the open man, stretch the floor, and switch in pick-and-roll situations. He was the opposite of Nurkic and gave the Blazers another dimension as a change of pace coming off the bench. As a relatively cheap contract, he fit the Blazers’ roster exceptionally well in many aspects, including timeline, position, versatility, and financial situation.
From a positional standpoint, the Blazers’ most significant roster weakness is their forwards. Why not keep Watford and have him develop with the young core, if only as a depth piece? Now that Eubanks and Watford are both elsewhere, Portland is extremely thin at their big positions. Fans are left wondering why the Blazers didn’t include the 22-year-old Watford in their rebuilding plan.