3. Robert Williams III
Williams is out for the season after undergoing right knee surgery. The 26-year-old has twice played more than 50 games in his first six NBA seasons and only appeared in more than 60 contests once. Injuries are an issue, but Williams can be an impactful defender and rebounder when healthy.
The 6’9 big man has two years and $25.7 million remaining on his contract after this season. Will some team look to acquire him for next year? That seems unlikely, but the Blazers may be able to use him as a salary-matcher in a larger deal. Portland wants to maximize their draft capital and young talent, so they may just look to deal him in the summer for a more significant return.
Teams will certainly want a full medical report before acquiring Williams. He has dealt with several injuries since coming to the NBA in 2018 and some organizations are likely wondering if he will ever stay healthy.
Expect general manager Joe Cronin and the Blazers front office to call around and explore Robert Williams III’s market. He was backing up Deandre Ayton this season and is not a pillar of their rebuild. That makes the 26-year-old expendable. Now it is all about the Blazers maximizing his value.