Here's the latest Portland Trail Blazers news for Jan. 11, including Moses Brown's successful surgery, a Deandre Ayton injury update and one writer's opinion that the team must make a trade before the Feb. 8 deadline.
Moses Brown's return timetable
Portland announced on Jan. 8 that center Moses Brown would need surgery to repair a non-displaced scaphoid fracture in his left wrist. It was another blow to a Blazers center rotation that's been without starter Deandre Ayton the past few weeks and Robert Williams III since the early part of the season.
Brown's surgery was successful and he'll be re-evaluated in six weeks, per a team report.
Blazers a 9/10 on "trade panic meter"
Portland desperately needs to make a deal before this season's trade deadline, according to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report.
Buckley examined each NBA team's position in the standings and motivation to make a move. The Trail Blazers were high on the list.
"The Blazers haven't been horrifically bad this season, and that's not necessarily good," Buckley wrote. "At this rate, they might need some lottery luck to have access to the best prospects the 2024 draft has to offer.
"That's why Portland should plan for a busy trade season. This team still has some veteran talent that's of little use to this lottery-bound bunch but should be attractive to clubs in or near the championship race."
Malcolm Brogdon, Jerami Grant, Matisse Thybulle and Anfernee Simons were listed as potential trade candidates.
Is Deandre Ayton playing tonight?
A blowout loss to the New York Knicks on Jan. 9 was the eighth consecutive game Ayton has missed because of right knee tendinitis.
Although he didn't suit up, the Blazers big man made the trip to New York, which was a promising development, He was upgraded from out to doubtful - another step in the right direction.
Portland continues its road trip tonight against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Ayton is still listed on the injury report as "doubtful." Head coach Chauncey Billups told reporters "hopefully soon" when asked about his starting center's return before the Knicks game.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Blazers will get him back tonight against the Thunder, but things are at least trending upward for Ayton.