One sentence progress reports for every player on the Trail Blazers roster

Checking in on Portland's 2023-24 player development, from Scoot Henderson to Delano Banton.

Deandre Ayton, Portland Trail Blazers
Deandre Ayton, Portland Trail Blazers / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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From the moment they traded Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Portland Trail Blazers became a hub of player development. How would Scoot Henderson operate after being the third pick in the 2023 NBA Draft? Could Deandre Ayton play to his potential with a fresh start and a new franchise? What about Jerami Grant, who re-upped on a five-year, $160 million contract?

As a team, the Blazers have been about as expected. As of Feb. 27, head coach Chauncey Billups' squad is 15-41 with the fifth-best odds at landing the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft.

There have been injuries. Lots of them. Young players have looked like future superstars at certain times while struggling wildly at others. Some veterans have been steady, others not so much.

Portland Trail Blazers 2023-24 player progress report

The two-thirds mark of the regular season is a fair time to check in on each player's development (if there's been any) and summarize it with a nice, easy, one-sentence statement.

The Future

Right now, the Trail Blazers' franchise is in the hands of only a few players.

Scoot Henderson

A rough start followed by an injury and a role change before some encouraging improvement and a return to the starting lineup.

Shaedon Sharpe

A breakout sophomore season dishearteningly cut short by injury.

Anfernee Simons

An up-and-down season as the 24-year-old gets used to filling Lillard's shoes as the Blazers' primary scorer and opponents' primary focus.

The 'Other' Young Guys

While Scoot, Simons and Sharpe make up Portland's future core, other young guys must play important roles if the Blazers hope to contend again soon.

Jabari Walker

Walker has gone from a little-used player last year to a key rotation player/fifth starter who does little things no one else on the roster can do.

Kris Murray

A disappointing rookie year for a 23-year-old who was expected to play legitimate minutes this season.

Rayan Rupert

He isn't ready for the NBA yet, but Rupert unexpectedly shot close to 40 percent from three in the G League, which could take him from a nice player to a starting-caliber three-and-D wing.

Toumani Camara

He may never develop into anything more than a role player, but for a throw-in piece of the Lillard trade, Camara has been one of the Blazers' best stories of the year.

Duop Reath

If Camara isn't the most pleasant surprise of this season it's Reath, who's become a key part of Billups' bench as a stretch five and just signed a deal that should keep him in Portland for at least another few seasons.

The Vets

Rather than load the roster with only youth and inexperience, general manager Joe Cronin kept/acquired players with NBA experience to help bridge the gap and win games every once in a while.

Jerami Grant

Grant has been Portland's most consistent player from the opening tip of opening night, is having one of the best seasons of his career and is leading the Blazers' offense more often than not.

Malcolm Brogdon

Still in Rip City after the trade deadline, Brogdon has been beneficial as a buffer between Henderson and the pressure of being a starting point guard as a rookie while playing his usual brand of good, steady basketball.

Deandre Ayton

Despite an uptick in stats recently, Ayton has been a disappointment as the main on-court piece of Portland's return in the Lillard trade and may have already forced Cronin into searching for an upgrade at center.

Robert Williams III

Williams, one of the league's best rim protectors and rebounders, could be that Ayton replacement, but he's missed almost the entire season and is rarely healthy.

Matisse Thybulle

Thybulle's role has diminished from his first half-season in Portland, and it seems like he's reached his ceiling as an NBA player.

The 'Let's See What Happens' Guys

Then there are the leftovers - but for a franchise like Portland that's in the early stages of a complete rebuild, these leftovers can still find minutes and carve out a roster spot.

Ibou Badji

Badji still needs more minutes with the Rip City Remix in the G League, but when he's gotten a chance at the NBA level, he's flashed the rim protector/rebounder archetype skills that suggest there may be a backup center in there somewhere.

Justin Minaya

At 24 years old already, Minaya is an end-of-bench player at best if he sticks around the NBA.

Moses Brown

At 7-foot-2 and 260 pounds, Brown can stand near the basket, get in the way and grab some rebounds when he's healthy.

Delano Banton

The idea of Banton as a 6-9 point guard seems more enticing than the actual player, but he'll get a chance to prove himself down the stretch.

Ashton Hagans

Hagans was a steady floor general for the Remix and could catch on as a third guard next season if he shows he can do the same with the Blazers.

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