3 Trail Blazers ready to impress and earn a bigger role next season

As Portland's tank accelerates, opportunities for these young players will emerge.

Kris Murray, Portland Trail Blazers
Kris Murray, Portland Trail Blazers / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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Toumani Camara

Like Walker, Camara’s minutes and production have fluctuated throughout the season.

After earning the starting small forward spot, Camara was demoted to the bench in January and has since been in and out of the starting lineup.

As a bright spot of Portland’s season, Camara has remained one of the Blazers’ most consistent defenders. His strength and size have made him one a top option against opposing teams’ best players. Camara’s utility as an on-ball defender has kept him in the team’s rotation and makes him a potential long-term piece of the Blazers’ rebuild.

Although Camara’s defense has earned him playing time, his inconsistent shooting has made him an offensive liability at times, hindering his ability to stay on the floor. Camara’s post-all-star-break shooting numbers are encouraging: He’s shooting 50 percent from three, albeit on low volume.

Shooting is Camara’s most important swing skill. If he can turn his greatest liability into a strength, there’s nothing preventing Camara from developing into a starting-caliber wing.

Aside from shooting, Camara’s big body and long strides make him dangerous attacking closeouts. An improved shot would enable him to attack the basket with greater effectiveness. At the rim, Camara has a tendency to rely too much on his right hand, so refining his finishing package represents another area of growth that would allow him to add more value as an offensive player.

Three-and-D players are valuable and hard to acquire in the NBA. More opportunity to play as the team’s tanking accelerates will allow fans to gain greater insight into Camara’s future role on the team.

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By using increased reps to demonstrate his ability to be a threat offensively, Camara has a chance to set himself up for an expanded role heading into the team’s 2024-25 campaign.