Thursday, 27 December 2018 22:28

A review with hope

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Portland, Or.




No, Portland fans, we have not arrived at the annual, hype train of preseason excitement after a hot new draft pick, new FA signing and a fresh group of expectations and unrealistic predictions from the out of touch GM Trent Meister.


The hope comes in the form of first year Lumberjack player Charles Barnett. The SF played every game for the Lumberjacks and was a stand out all season long, Barnett single handily won them at least 10 of their 18 wins of the season. His final PER of 20.9 highlighted the importance he had on the season in Portland. Locked up for another  three seasons beyond this one, it gives the Lumberjacks a centre piece to move forward with. Especially while all the project players continue to develop.


Adding to the Barnett highlight of the season was the development of the young guys. Most notably Andrew Lawer, who the Lumberjacks traded down to pick up in the draft. He ended up making the all NBA rookie first team, while the player acquired in the trade to pick up Lawer – Stephen Deer, landed himself on the rookie second team. Both promising signs for a young Portland team.


Aaron Todd, Terrience Latimer and Dorian Geis, were all traded into the roster over the season and each have shown flashes of things to come. With a massive need at the point, Geis has a great chance to develop into that starting PG, however, he has some way to go. 


This is all without mentioning Portland’s very own picks of Roger – Who ended the year as the starting C and allowing the team to move on for troubled star Richardson, who in his time in Portland seemed more worried about the media attention no matter how it was received than playing basketball. While the Russian saw some bench minutes that produced little to suggest anything really.


Portland head into the off season with a full roster, so there needs to be trades or cuts made to accommodate the inevitable influx of players that will come via draft and FA. The team currently hold picks 3, 23, 31 and 35 in the coming draft and are 10million under the cap. If disgruntled former top FA landing Albert Mitchel can find a way out of town, there could be close to 20million to spend in the off season. However reports are that the Lumberjacks front office are more worries about the coaching ranks over the playing ones.


So, even though 18 wins is not the most attractive thought when it comes to a season review filled with hope. 18 represents an increase from last season and a platform to dream of what might grow in Portland.




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