Four small forwards on the free agent market the Trail Blazers could sign
According to the report, Ariza will instead be committing to a one-month visitation window with his young son.
Players have until June 24th to tell teams whether or not they will be returning once the season re-starts in Orlando next month.
So what now?
With no Ariza, who will take his starting minutes at the three spot? Not to mention teams will most likely want to have as many players as possible available to them given the potential roster uncertainty with COVID-19 as well as injury risks due to a four-month layoff period.
As of right now, there are no signs that point to the Blazers signing anyone new, but if Portland did entertain that idea, there are few players out there that they could look at adding to the roster.
Let’s take a look at some of the current small forwards who are currently available…
Luc Mbah a Moute
Forward Luc Mbah a Moute's time in L.A. with the Clippers ended in early April of last year.
Mbah a Moute played in four games last season, all of them in Oct., after battling numerous injuries. He had signed a one-year deal with the Clippers in July.
Mbah a Moute, who also played for the Clippers in two seasons from 2015 through 2017, underwent knee surgery last March.
Early this March, it was reported that the Houston Rockets had worked out Mbah a Moute. The 11-year NBA veteran and 6’8” forward is known for his versatility on the defensive end and his ability to knock down threes at a pretty consistent rate in recent years. Of course, that’s when he is healthy.
Omri Casspi was waived by the Grizzlies in February of 2019 and hasn't played in the NBA since, but that doesn't mean he hasn't been playing.
Iman Shumpert played a total of 13 games for the Brooklyn Nets earlier this season. Brooklyn signed Shumpert to a 16th roster spot which was made available by Wilson Chandler's 25-game suspension for using a banned substance.
The Nets had signed Shumpert to a veteran’s minimum, non-guaranteed deal and with Brooklyn already at the max with 15 players signed to guaranteed deals, the Nets were forced to waive Shumpert in early December.
In 13 games played this season, Shumpert played 18.5 minutes per game and averaged 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 32.8 percent.
Though Gerald Green is another player who hasn’t played since the 2018-19 season, there is still some interest in the 34-year-old veteran.
The Houston Rockets were expecting a lot out of Green last season, but that plan was derailed after he had season-ending surgery on his broken left foot that he suffered during the team’s final preseason game against the Miami Heat at the end of October.
On Feb. 5, 2020, the Rockets traded Green to the Denver Nuggets in a four-team trade. Denver later announced that they had waived Green.
The Journeyman finished the 2018-19 season with averages of 9.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.5 assists in 20 minutes of action.
Green has had and continues to have the green light from three. During the 2018-19 season, Green produced the highest three-point attempt rate of his 12-year career at a whopping 76.3 percent. For the season with Houston, he averaged 35.4 percent from deep that season.
And... What about current Blazers?
Even with all of these forwards currently available, the Trail Blazers will probably use the guys they already have which includes two-way players.
With Zach Collins back healthy from shoulder surgery, Blazers coach Terry Stotts could go with a big lineup of Carmelo Anthony at small forward and Collins at the four.