Ranking the 10 Blazers who need to play the most minutes the rest of this season

Which young players should get the most run down the stretch and where do the vets fit in?
Jabari Walker, Portland Trail Blazers
Jabari Walker, Portland Trail Blazers / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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9. Rayan Rupert

Rupert is above Camara on this list because of his upside, which remains enticing despite a quiet rookie season.

His physical profile in itself is impressive: A switchable wing defender who plays hungry, can guard 1 through 4 and use his 7-3 wingspan to pester opponents and cause deflections and turnovers. Physically, Rupert has everything a team could want in a high-level three-and-D starter with the potential for even more.

At 19 years old with a skinny frame, though, the French prospect wasn't ready for the physicality of the NBA, so he's spent most of the season with the Remix in the G League. But he's been better than expected.

Rupert is averaging a steal a game and has a defensive rating of 109.6; he isn't a lockdown man-to-man defender yet, but he's shown glimpses of why the Blazers snagged him when he fell to the 43rd pick in the 2023 draft. Offensively, though, is where he's surprisingly shined.

He's averaging 13.5 points per game and is shooting 38.4 percent from three on more than 4 attempts. He's also pulling down 6.3 rebounds, which is a plus considering his lean frame and competition against stronger, mostly older players.

Rupert deserves some minutes with the Blazers to see if he can translate those promising three-and-D skills to the NBA level, but it's best for his development to continue playing most of his minutes in the G League.