The Portland Trail Blazers surprised a lot of fans by making a very impactful move on Monday night.
The Houston Rockets sent over forward Robert Covington in exchange for Trevor Ariza, and the Blazers’ 2020 first-round pick (16th overall), and a future first-round pick.
Portland’s President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey made a bold statement by going after Covington, making it clear that the Blazers intend to win now with how well they performed in the bubble.
For general NBA fans who actually watch basketball outside of their fandom of the home team, they know what Covington can bring to the Blazers and how much this trade is going to make a difference this season.
Covington isn’t a superstar, but his value to a team like the Trail Blazers is off the charts.
Here is everything you need to know about the Blazers new forward Robert Covington.
Covington is excellent on defense.
One issue the Blazers struggled with last season was on the defense end and Covington significantly helps Portland in that category.
Covington, (6'-7", 209 lbs) is able to defend players at all three frontcourt positions. The Rockets, in some cases, used him as a power forward last season in their undersized lineups, but he has most often been used at small forward.
In the 2017-18 season, Covington was voted to the NBA All-Defensive First Team, and finished first in deflections and thirteenth in defensive loose balls in the same season.
When Covington joined Houston, he was averaging 2.2 shots per game and stole the ball 1.6 times per contest.
Covington is an athletic, strong, intelligent defensive player that makes Portland much better on that side of the court.
Last year he wasn’t as efficient
Offensively speaking, Covington doesn't need the ball much in his hand to be effective for the team. For Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum that most certainly works for them.
But if the Blazers do need someone who is reliable in an open three type of situation, then Covington is your guy.
Granted, his 3-point shooting accuracy was at an all-time low at 31 in Houston - his career average is about 36 percent- but some shooters get back to form, for some reason, when they join Portland.
Again, the Blazers aren’t looking for Covington offensive play when he finally lands in Portland. But it is something to note that he can score if Lillard or McCollum need something from him.
He loves… snakes?
Personally, I don’t know what to make of this information… Because I hate snakes.
But Covington seems to be a big fan of them, and you people need to know this information as well.
On his Instagram, he is not shy about sharing his love for his pet snakes Max, Elle, and Eli.
Covington joins Lakers shooting guard Danny Green as the player who enjoys having pet snakes instead of being a normal cat and dog owner.
He fills the Blazers need for a starting-caliber small forward and will likely compete with Rodney Hood if he returns with the Blazers, as he has opted into free agency.
Blazers fans should be excited about what Covington has to offer to the team and how his defense will surely bring the added edge Portland has been looking for.