Trail Blazers season in review, look ahead

The Oregonian/OregonLive takes a player-by-player look at the Portland Trail Blazers roster before the offseason, assessing their worth both with Damian Lillard and without him in case the superstar is traded to trigger a rebuild.

Previous posts: Jabari walker; Keon Johnson; Kevin Knox II; John Butler Jr.; Ibou Badji; Jenathan Williams; Skylar Mays.

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Height, position, age: 6-foot-8, small forward, 23.

Contract status: Redish will become a restricted free agent if the Blazers make a $7.7 million qualifying offer.

Contributions 2022-23: The Blazers acquired Reddish in a trade deal that involved sending Josh Hart to the New York Knicks for Reddish and a conditional first-round pick to be passed on this year.

Reddish languished on the Knicks bench after falling out of favor with coach Tom Thibodeau.

Billups immediately slotted Reddish into the Blazers’ starting lineup. He eventually appeared in 20 games with 12 starts and averaged 11 points with 2.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 27.6 minutes per game.

Redish shot 44.3% from the field and made 31.8% of his three-point attempts.

Compatibility with Lillard: The Blazers want to upgrade to small forward. If that quest fails, Reddish could compete for the starting small forward position. However, such a move would likely be considered insufficient to improve the roster enough to wrestle, which could lead Lillard to seek an exit strategy.

The best-case scenario for the Blazers is that they upgrade the top five to the point where Reddish would serve as a backup. The Blazers should be able to keep Reddish on a reasonable salary given he is unlikely to receive a lucrative contract offer from another team that Portland should match.

Rebuild Adjustment: It would be interesting to see if the Blazers would keep Reddish low if they go into rebuilding mode after trading Lillard. The reddish could be the starting small forward depending on where the Blazers stand with their 2023 lottery pick.

Market value : Reddish, on his third team in four seasons, would have very minimal trade value.

Return probability: Quite high. Reddish, the 10th selection in the 2019 NBA Draft in Atlanta, remains an intriguing prospect even though two franchises have him moving forward. He’s tall, long, athletic, can score in a variety of ways, and has the ability to play positive defense. He just didn’t put it all together.

But at just 23 and likely on a relatively low salary, the Blazers will likely look to keep him and hope he develops.

Outlook 2023-24: Reddish’s career is at a crossroads. There’s a good chance he’ll stay with the Blazers. What he does during this stint could make or break his career. If at the very least he thrives as a defender, Reddish could find a place in the rotation of a team built around Lillard to struggle.

— Aaron Fentress | | @AaronJFentress (Twitter), @AaronJFentress (Instagram), @AaronFentress (Facebook). Subscribe to Oregonian/OregonLive newsletters and podcasts

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