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Jan. 29, 2023

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Blazers Preview: The 2015-16 roster

By , Columbian Trail Blazers Writer
Published:

0 / Damian Lillard

Position: Point guard

Height/weight: 6-3, 195 lbs

College/draft: Weber State, No. 6 pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

Of note: After making his 2nd All-Star Game, he struggled in the playoffs and became the internet’s favorite target for his poor defense, replacing Houston’s James Harden. Now the unquestioned leader of the Blazers, he’s going to have to do more than ever on both ends.

3 / CJ McCollum

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 6-3, 190 lbs.

College/draft: Lehigh, No. 10 pick in 2013 NBA draft

Of note: CJ McCollum’s 2015 playoff appearance saw him set a career-high in scoring with 33 points and earn himself a few national accolades. McCollum enters the season as the starting shooting guard and back-up point guard, ready to shoulder a huge workload.

4 / Maurice (Moe) Harkless

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-9, 220

College/draft: St. John’s, No. 15 pick in 2012 NBA draft.

Of note: After a promising start to his career in Orlando, Harkless fell out of favor with the coaches. Portland got him on the cheap and it looks as though he’s in line to be the back-up small forward.

5 / Pat Connaughton

Position: Guard/forward

Height/weight: 6-5, 210 lbs.

College/draft: Notre Dame, No. 41 pick in 2015 NBA draft.

Of note: Connaughton was acquired in a draft day trade with the Brooklyn Nets which also netted Mason Plumlee. Connaughton may be the odd man out when the team is healthy, but he’s shown he’s ready to play a complimentary role.

8 / Al-Farouq Aminu

Position: Forward

Height/weight: 6-9, 220 lbs.

College/draft: Wake Forest, No. 8 pick in 2010 NBA draft.

Of note: Aminu’s 4-year deal made him one of the highest paid players on the team and reunited him with Neil Olshey, who drafted him. His versatility was on display in a wonderful playoff series in a losing effort for Dallas.

9 / Gerald Henderson

Position: Guard

Height/weight: 6-5, 215 lbs.

College/draft: Duke, No. 12 pick in 2009 NBA draft.

Of note: Henderson played six seasons for Charlotte  and was their longest-tenured player before the trade. Entering his prime and in the final year of his contract, Henderson could be attractive for a playoff team needing wing help.

10 / Tim Frazier

Position: Point guard

Height/weight: 6-1, 180 lbs.

College/draft: Penn State, undrafted

Of note: The Blazers signed the 2015 D-League MVP and Rookie of The Year late last season. He won a position battle against Phil Pressey for the third string point guard spot in camp.

11 / Meyers Leonard

Position: Center/forward

Height/weight: 7-1, 255 lbs.

College/draft: Illinois, No. 11 pick in 2012 NBA draft.

Of note: Leonard comes in as a starter in Portland’s front court after putting together the NBA’s only 50-40-90 (FG%–3-pt%-FT%) season. In the playoffs, he earned the nickname “Baby Sabonis” from TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal.

17 / Ed Davis

Position: Center/forward

Height/weight: 6-10, 225 lbs.

College/draft: North Carolina, No. 13 pick in 2010 NBA draft.

Of note: After bouncing from Toronto to Memphis without earning a rotation role, Davis had the most productive season of his career last season with the Lakers in a consistent role.

21 / Noah Vonleh

Position: Power forward

Height/weight: 6-10, 245 lbs.

College/draft: Indiana, No. 9 pick in 2014 NBA draft.

Of note: Acquired along with Gerald Henderson for Nicolas Batum, the 20-year old forward projects to be in the rotation. The trade was a confidence jolt, boosted by a superb Summer League performance.

23 / Allen Crabbe

Position: Guard/forward

Height/weight: 6-6, 215 lbs.

College/draft: California, No. 31 pick in 2013 NBA draft.

Of note: “Cool Breeze” made his way on to the court thanks to injuries and made the most of his chance with solid defense and shot making. This season, he’ll be asked to have a more aggressive role in the offense coming off the bench.

24 / Mason Plumlee

Position: Center

Height/weight: 6-11, 245 lbs.

College/draft: Duke, No. 22 pick in 2013 NBA draft.

Of note: Plumlee earned his way on to the court on veteran teams in Brooklyn but never found a consistent role. A member of Team USA in the 2014 FIBA World Cup, Plumlee will be Portland’s starting center opening night.

34 / Cliff Alexander

Position: Forward

Height: 6-8, 245 lbs.

College/draft: Kansas, undrafted.

Of note: Alexander was a top-five high school recruit in 2014 before a tough year at Kansas. After being undrafted, he’s made Portland’s opening night roster despite an injury keeping- him out of all of their preseason games.

35 / Chris Kaman

Position: Center

Height: 7-0, 265 lbs.

College/draft: Central Michigan, No. 6 pick in 2003 NBA draft.

Of note: Entering his 13th season, Kaman may be in the twilight of his career. He has one-year left on his deal.

44 / Luis Montero

Position: Guard

Height: 6-7, 190 lbs.

College/draft: Westchester CC (N.Y.), undrafted

Of note: Immigrating only a few years ago from the Dominican Republic, Montero didn’t play organized basketball last season before latching on to the Blazers in the summer. The Blazers want to see where he is after trying to develop him, but don’t expect him to see the floor much except in blowouts.

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Columbian Trail Blazers Writer