The Portland Trail Blazers had one of the worst benches in the NBA last season, which was a big reason why they weren’t able to ride Damian Lillard’s Rookie of the Year performance to the postseason. As soon as their reserves would hit the floor, it seemed that all momentum and flow would cease.
That was the chief concern for the Blazers heading into the off-season this summer and they have done a fantastic job of strengthening their roster as a whole. In the draft they were able to add C.J. McCollum and Allen Crabbe, were able to sign free-agent Mo Williams, and also acquired Thomas Robinson and Robin Lopez to aid their frontcourt.
Specifically with their additions to their backcourt, though, the Blazers are going to be much more effective as a whole this season. Not only do they have much improved players coming off of their bench, but they also don’t have a need to play players that were ineffective for them last season, one of which is Will Barton.
As a rookie last season, Barton struggled to adjust to the NBA style of play. He appeared in 73 games and averaged only four points, two rebounds and 0.8 assists per game. The worst part regarding Barton, though, was the fact that he shot only 38.2 percent from the floor and hit on only 13.8 percent of his three-point attempts, yet still took almost one three per game.
Barton could continue developing into a role player in this league, but he doesn’t have near the upside or the potential to help Portland as the players the organization brought in this summer. In the end, Barton needs to find the bench, take a seat, and get cozy; he’s going to be there more often than not this season.