10 Trail Blazers we wish stuck around longer
Every Trail Blazers fan has at least one player or coach in mind that they wish they could have seen them stick around longer. Whether their time in Portland was cut short due to injury, or they blossomed once they departed, there's that "the one that got away" feeling attached to their name. It is probably hurting you now just thinking about it, isn’t it?
Here are 10 Trail Blazers we wish stuck around longer here in Portland.
This one is obvious. Everyone knows the name, and everyone knows the number. Brandon Roy truly meant something to the city of Portland and to Rip City.
Sadly, his career was riddled with gruesome knee injuries that caused him to retire in 2011. Only spanning a 5-year career in a Trail Blazers uniform, "The Natural" will always have a special place in the hearts of Blazers fans.
With teammates such as Batum, Blake, and Aldridge slowly becoming into his prime, his career with the Blazers had a lot of promise and we were robbed of what could have been.
The host of NBCSBW Trail Blazers Podcast Channing Frye only had 2 seasons with the Blazers in his 14 years in the NBA, but to this day, he still calls Portland his home.
Playing behind a rising star at PF with LaMarcus Aldridge and seeing minimal time on the floor is probably the main reason why the relationship with the Blazers never went any further.
Frye went on to play 10 more seasons in the NBA after his time ended in Portland, culminating in an NBA Championship ring with the Cavaliers in 2016.
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Drafted by the Blazers in 2012 with the 40th pick, Barton was one of four rookies brought in alongside Damian Lillard. Meyers Leonard and Victor Claver rounded out the 2012 class.
Coming to a team already stocked in the backcourt, Barton’s opportunity to get on the floor, particularly as a second-round pick, was sadly limited. Barton was routinely on a short leash and was never able to blossom in Portland. He was traded to the Denver Nuggets as part of a 5-player deal featuring Arron Afflalo.
Barton signed a four-year, $53M deal with the Nuggets and was averaging 15.1 points per game and fits in well with Mike Malone's system.
Look, every Blazers fan wonders what if the Blazers selected Kevin Durant with the No. 1 overall pick back at the 2007. But, Greg Oden was the missing piece for the Trail Blazers at the time.
Coming off an incredible one-year run with Ohio State averaging 15.7 points and 6 rebounds a game, this is a need for the Blazers at the time that they so desperately needed.
It would have been fun and interesting to see a healthy Oden playing with a team featuring LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy.
The Jail Blazers era is will forever be a part of Portland Trail Blazers history, and Rasheed Wallace was a focal point of that team.
Wallace was a reliable offensive weapon and wreaked havoc on defense. However, his antics on and off the court proved to be his ultimate downfall.
It would have been interesting to see Rasheed Wallace and a healthy Bradon Roy at the same time and playing pick and roll off of one another.
Wallace went on to be a key contributor in the Detroit Pistons deep playoff pushes and championship run.
Picked 17th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft, Jermaine O’Neal was surrounded by veteran big men that could have shown him the ropes.
With Arvydas Sabonis, Rasheed Wallace, and Clifford R. Robinson all ahead in the depth chart, the time for O'Neal to see the court was slim to none.
As he progressed in his NBA career, he became a force to be reckoned with on the defensive end, winning the most improved player in 2002 and seeing his first all-star appearance in the same year.
O’Neal could have been a great defensive stopper for the Blazers if he just developed and stayed with the team.
O'Neal may be the greatest "what if" of them all.
Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge could have been the best offensive duo the Blazers had ever seen. Sadly, it just never panned out that way.
After the Trail Blazers magical season in 2015 seemingly ended after Wesley Matthews tore his Achilles, Aldridge departed in free agency, ceding control to Damian Lillard and leaving many question marks on what that team may have become had Aldridge stayed.
Aldridge has said in he has thoughts of coming back to Portland in the future, but with how old he is now, is it really worth it to bring the two back together again in Portland?
After bringing the Trail Blazers their first NBA Championship in franchise history, this is the one player we all wish had a healthy NBA career and end it at Portland.
Walton averaged 18.5 points, 19.0 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 3.7 blocks in the NBA Finals. Walton was named the 1977 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player.
What could have been with Walton staying healthy and averaging the numbers he did, we will never know.
Arvydas Sabonis came to the Portland Trail Blazers when he was already in his 30s and a history of knee injuries. The Blazers essentially missed him in his prime.
Sabonis is considered one of the best big man passers as well as one of the best overall centers, in the history of the game.
If the Blazers had a healthy, young and in their prime Sabonis during his time with Wallace, Pippen and Damon Stoudamire, the western conference finals in 1999 could have looked a lot different.
We deserved more sky hook shots!
The the love between the Trail Blazers, Wesley Matthews and Rip City was palpable. The fans loved Iron Man and Matthews gave everything he had in return.
Matthews went down with an Achilles' tear and was in a contract year. His return was going to be based on what LaMarcus Aldridge decided.
The Blazers did not re-sign Matthews, who later signed with Dallas. Since then, Matthews has been averaging close to around 12 ppg and is still a 3-point specialist in today’s league.
Iron Man will always have a special place in the hearts of the Rip City faithful.