Wes Matthews: Where Blazers go from here
NEW ORLEANS -- With two major pieces out dealing with injuries, the Portland Trail Blazers will not look at signing a player out on the open market, CSNNW.com was informed.
In order for Portland to add a free agent to help offset the rash of injuries the team has endured as of late, they would have to waive a player being that they already have 15 guaranteed contracts on its roster. It's another valuable opportunity for young guys such as Thomas Robinson, Meyers Leonard and Will Barton to receive meaningful minutes as opposed to signing an inferior player from the D-League or a player off the street.
Their growth and development continue to be a top priority.
The Portland Trail Blazers were dealt a bit of a blow when the team announced Thursday that a MRI confirmed LaMarcus Aldridge did indeed sustain a lower back contusion in the 103-90 loss to the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night, which will have him out for at least the next two games. It didn't end there, however. The team also revealed Mo Williams' MRI confirmed he does, in fact, have a right hip strain and surprisingly, he is expected to be out for two weeks before being reevaluated.
Williams didn't play in Wednesday night's loss.
Joel Freeland, who for much of the season has been the team's backup center, told CSNNW.com that he's shooting for a playoff return rather than coming back during the season due to what he calls a slow progressing MCL sprain.
Rookie Allen Crabbe, who is on D-League assignment in Idaho, will not rejoin the team in New Orleans for tomorrow night's matchup against the Pelicans. He will rejoin the team Sunday after the five-game road trip is complete, according to a person close to the guard.
Portland will have to lean heavily on its young group of talent during what has been the team's roughest stretch, having lost four consecutive games, their longest losing skid of the season. It's going to take creativeness, ingenuity and patience on the part of Head Coach Terry Stotts to make sure he's maximizing every drop of talent.
Let's keep in mind, the Trail Blazers went 4-1 after the All-Star break when Aldridge was out with a groin injury. They've been down this road before. They're just traveling down it again.
Portland will only have 11 players available versus the Pelicans.