3. Retaining Matisse Thybulle
Matisse Thybulle has long been one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. He’ll be a significant contributor to the Blazers on that end of the floor in 2023-24.
But Thybulle also had the best offensive stretch of his career once he arrived in Portland in a deadline-day trade with the Philadelphia 76ers last year. The 6-foot-5 26-year-old shot a career-high 38.8 percent from three on a career-high 3.9 attempts per game during his 22 games in Rip City.
He was a pleasant surprise for the Blazers and finally started to live up to his potential as a true three-and-D wing under Billups. Whether or not he continues to shoot a high percentage from deep will be an under-the-radar storyline to watch in Portland. Was that 22-game stretch an aberration or did Thybulle finally show his ability to shoot after being given the green light to do so?
Regardless, matching the Dallas Mavericks’ offer sheet of 3 years and $33 million seemed like a no-brainer for the Blazers, and Thybulle has a chance to make that contract look silly if he plays as well as he did at the end of last season.