Blazers start, bench, cut: Shaedon Sharpe, Matisse Thybulle, Kris Murray

Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Kris Murray should play a key bench role for the Trail Blazers this season.
Kris Murray, Iowa Hawkeyes. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

Blazers should bring Kris Murray off the bench

Keeping with the “development at all costs” goal, Murray should get regular minutes off the bench for Billups.

He was the 23rd overall pick in this year’s draft and may have been taken to straddle the line between win-now mode with Lillard or a potential rebuild.

As Lillard was still a member of the Blazers but rumblings had already begun that he could ask to move on, especially after the Henderson pick at No. 3, grabbing an experienced but still-developing rookie toward the end of the first round was a wise idea.

Kris, the younger brother of Sacramento Kings’ forward Keegan (who had a standout rookie season, by the way), will play his first NBA game at 23 years old. He was one of the best players in one of the best conferences in the NCAA last season as a member of the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten.

He averaged 20.2 points and 7.9 rebounds and, as a bonus, blocked 1.2 shots per game – a high number for a wing player. At 6-foot-8 with a 7-foot wingspan with a high basketball IQ, a willingness to play a role and some upside as a legitimate three-and-D wing, Murray deserves minutes on a rebuilding team.