We caught up with Pro Basketball Talk's Kurt Helin at NBA Summer League to get his off-season grades for the Trail Blazers.
Helin is currently the lead NBA writer and managing editor at NBCSports.com.
To start, he gave his grade on the Trail Blazers selecting Nassir Little at pick No. 25.
“This was a top 10 level talent… Give him a chance to develop.”
Helin likes the pick, but wants Blazers fans to keep in mind Little is going to need time to develop.
My Grade: I give the draft pick an ‘B+’ because with Little’s athleticism and the way the Blazers coaching staff has been able to develop shooters, I think Little could have a bright future in Rip City.
For Helin’s grade on Little check out video here:
Next up, Helin gave his grade on Portland acquiring free agent veteran wing Kent Bazemore.
Spoiler alert: Helin is very excited about “this upgrade at a position in need.”
“Bazemore is loved everywhere he’s played.”
My grade: For Bazemore I have no doubt he’s going to be a great locker room guy and a consistent guy on the court. I give this free agent get an ‘A’. Bazemore will bring the energy every night. He’ll just probably have to adjust to playing big minutes on a winning team. Yeah, you bet he is excited for that adjustment.
For Helin’s grade on Bazemore check out video here:
And lastly, Helin’s grade on the multi-team trade that now brings Hassan Whiteside to Portland might surprise you. He is not as high on this trade as some other national media members have been.
“It’s a placeholder trade until [Jusuf] Nurkic comes back.”
My grade: I give the trade an ‘A+’ since Portland finally got their guy they wanted three years ago in free agency. Plus, after listening to Whiteside at his introductory press conference on Thursday you can tell he was in need of a change of scenery. I see Whiteside fitting into coach Terry Stott’s system very well and heck, he’s going to be surrounding by shooters. “We got shooters,” to quote Whiteside himself.
For Helin's grade watch here: