It doesn't take more than a quick look at the Trail Blazers roster to recognize that there's not much recognizable there.
With 21 players currently listed -- including free agents -- there are some names on the roster now that won't be there when the 2012-13 season tips off. Center Joel Przybilla, forwards Craig Smith and Shawne Williams and guard Jonny Flynn are all free agents, Williams having reached a buyout with Portland, and it's highly likely none of the four will be back for the upcoming season.
Meaning, quite simply, the list of returning players is getting smaller and smaller. As it stands now, Portland brings back only a handful of players who received playing time in 2011-12, and only three of those -- LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews -- received significant playing time throughout the season. In total, the returners number seven; they are:
- LaMarcus Aldridge, F
- Nicolas Batum, F/G
- Wesley Matthews, G
- J.J. Hickson, F
- Luke Babbitt, F
- Nolan Smith, G
- Elliot Williams, G
As of now, the newbies outnumber the returners, 10-7. They are:
- Will Barton, G
- Victor Claver, F
- Joel Freeland, F
- Dan Gadzuric, C
- Jared Jeffries, F
- Meyers Leonard, C
- Damian Lillard, G
- Kostas Papanikolaou, F
- Aleksander "Sasha" Pavlovic, G/F
- Ronnie Price, G
The Blazers likely aren't done acquiring pieces this offseason, so these are working lists, at best. And again, these assume that none of the current free agents is returning.
Portland has some real players in this group, although the Blazers aren't real big. But there are also quite a few guys whose next regular-season NBA game will be their first, so it's difficult to know just how well they'll do.
Stayed tuned for more roster remodeling as Portland's offseason of change continues.