Here's the latest Portland Trail Blazers news for Jan. 22, including Chauncey Billups sticking with his "big" starting lineup, the team's newest signing making his NBA debut and is Malcolm Brogdon upping his value on the trade market?
Trail Blazers going big
Portland's Jan. 21 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers was the third straight game in which Billups went with a center - in this case Deandre Ayton - along with Jabari Walker at power forward and Jerami Grant at small forward in his starting five.
That's a deviation from the lineup the Blazers have used most of the season with Grant at the four and Toumani Camara starting at the three.
It's obviously a tiny sample size, but Portland has averaged more points (111.0 to 107.5) and shot a higher percentage (48.5 to 43.4) over the past three games. Grant scored 30 points in a win over the Brooklyn Nets and a season-high 37 in a win against the Indiana Pacers. Walker had a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double when Ayton re-entered the lineup against Indiana
It's not a change that will affect the Blazers' season, but it's an interesting wrinkle, and Walker brings more offensive juice to the group than Camara.
Taze Moore makes NBA debut
Portland announced the signing of guard Taze Moore on a 10-day contract on Jan. 20, and the 25-year-old guard played his first NBA minutes and scored his first NBA points in the loss to the Lakers.
The Blazers organization acquired Moore from the Texas Legends last week, the Dallas Mavericks' G League affiliate, so he officially became the first member of the Rip City Remix to make the jump to the big leagues.
The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game in the G League.
Could Malcolm Brogdon's trade value be going up?
The Trail Blazers' most legitimate trade talk has involved guard Malcolm Brogdon, who's been tied to the New York Knicks and most recently the Lakers. Since Billups put the 31-year-old back into the starting lineup against Brooklyn, he's been Portland's best player.
Brogdon has played at least 30 minutes in the Blazers' last three games. Before that, the last time he crossed the 30-minute threshold was Dec. 29. He's averaging 23 points, 6.3 rebounds and 7.0 assists on 49/50/94 shooting splits. It's likely no coincidence that as rumors surrounding the veteran guard have increased, so have his minutes.
If he continues to play this well over the next few weeks, could the Blazers land more than just salary filler and a late first-round pick from a contender that's desperate for help in the backcourt?