3 Underrated Blazers who could make a massive impact this season

Matisse Thybulle, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images)
Matisse Thybulle, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images) /
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Matisse Thybulle could play an underrated but crucial role for the Blazers this season.
Chauncey Billups (left); Matisse Thybulle, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Underrated Blazer No. 1: Matisse Thybulle

Thybulle arrived in Portland as an underrated trade deadline acquisition in February. He went on to have an underrated few months as a Blazer. Now, he may have a properly rated season as a veteran starter (or at least likely starter).

The former 76er is a four-year NBA veteran, and at just 26 years old has been named All-Defensive Second Team twice and has finished top-20 in the league in steals three times and top-20 in blocks once.

The knock on Thybulle – and why he was available at the trade deadline – has always been a lack of offense. He’s not a playmaker, shot creator, scorer or finisher, and until he arrived in Rip City, he wasn’t a shooter, either.

But the 6-foot-5 wing shot a career-high 38.8 percent from three on a career-high 3.9 attempts per game as a Blazer.

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Thybulle’s calling card will always be his defense, but if he can shoot 38 percent from deep on a decent volume and make the most of his catch-and-shoot opportunities, his game will take a jump from elite defender to true three-and-D wing. If that’s the case, he’ll play a major role on a young team in Portland.