Free Agency has started, and the Portland Trail Blazers were very active. Portland made a trade early in the day and made a couple of free-agent moves when free agency began to improve their team.
Enes Kanter Back
The Blazers were involved in a three-way deal with the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies. In the trade, Portland acquired center Enes Kanter, the Grizzlies got Mario Hezonja and Desmond Bane, and the Celtics got future Memphis draft consideration.
Kanter played with the Blazers in 2019, when he averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in 23 games. He will be an excellent back up to Jusuf Nurick.
Rodney Hood signed a two-year $21 million deal with the Blazers after opting out of his contract. The second yet is non guaranteed. Before his Achilles’ injury, Hood averaged 11.0 points per game and was shooting 49.3% from the three-point land in 21 games.
Derrick Jones Jr.
The Blazers also signed forward Derrick Jones Jr. to a two-year $19 million deal. Jones played last season with the Miami Heat and averaged 8.5 and 3.9 rebounds per game. He won the slam dunk contest in 2020 as well. Jones is athletic and a good wing defender that could be successful with the Blazers.
On Monday, the Blazers acquired Robert Covington from the Houstons rockets for Trevor Ariza and the 16th overall pick and a future first-round pick. This was an excellent deal for the Blazers. Portland struggled on defense last season; signing Covinginton gives the Blazers a player that can defend all three front-court positions. Covington is athletic, strong, and has a high basketball IQ on the defensive end. He is also a player that shoots the three. He struggled shooting with Houston at 31%, but he is an overall 36% three-point shooter for his career.
Portland did an outstanding job adding some wing defenders and down low scoring to their team. They got better this offseason.