Trail Blazers: Starting 5, rotation after Damian Lillard, Jrue Holiday trades

Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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Shaedon Sharpe will be a key member of the Portland Trail Blazers rotation.
Shaedon Sharpe, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

The rest of the Portland Trail Blazers rotation

Sixth man: Shaedon Sharpe

If Billups wants an adult in the backcourt, the 30-year-old Brogdon could be the first guy off the bench. This year should be about development, though, and Sharpe should see the court as often as possible. He’s already said he’s willing to start or come off the bench and play the two or the three, which gives Chauncey more ways to get him into the lineup.

Other guards: Brogdon

Portland brought back Skylar Mays, who played well over the final six games last year, on a two-way contract; but Scoot, Simons, Sharpe and Brogdon should soak up all the minutes in the guard rotation. If Malcolm is traded during the season or at the trade deadline, things could change.

Other forwards: Kris Murray, Jabari Walker

Murray was the 23rd pick in June’s draft. He’s considered a plug-and-play, three-and-D wing who can play either forward position. He’s a glue guy willing to do the dirty work – hustle, defend, rebound and spot-up behind the 3-point line. Those skills will get you playing time. Walker could get some run as well.

Backup center: Williams

The man also known as Time Lord could play a number of roles in Billups’ rotation. As long as he’s healthy, he’s as much of a threat as Ayton in the pick-and-roll but is one of the league’s best defensive big men and rim-protectors. He could serve as a direct backup to Ayton, but it’s likely the two spend some time sharing the floor. And as Williams is wildly injury-prone, it’s reasonable to think he comes off the bench and plays fewer minutes than his frontcourt mate.

Next. 5 Malcolm Brogdon trades the Blazers should explore. dark

Henderson (19 years old), Simons (24), Sharpe (20), Ayton (25) and Williams (25) are set up to be the Blazers’ core going forward. Thybulle (26), Grant (29) and Brogdon (30) will play crucial roles this season as long as they’re around. Murray (23) is a rotation lock as well.

The Portland Trail Blazers’ roster is skewed young, but it has a mix of youth and veteran talent, and it’s deeper than it seems on the surface. The Blazers obviously aren’t a contender, but they have the pieces to surprise some teams around the league this season.