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Will any of the players on the Blazers’ Summer League championship roster make an impact in the NBA?

Trendon Watford in Summer League

Trendon Watford balled out for the Blazers in Summer League, winning championship game MVP. Will he make an impact for them next season?

The trophy had been lifted, the final buzzer had sounded, and the Portland Trail Blazers were ready to receive their rings.

For the first time since Bill Walton was running around in a headband, the Blazers were champions. Squint, and it would have looked like the real thing.

Of course, if you opened your eyes and looked around, you would have seen the “Summer League” logo adorning the middle of the court, and you would have felt that pang of irrelevance in your gut, the one that blunts the joy you get out of things when other people don’t care about them.

The Blazers won the title, but was there a meaningful reason for it? Were they led by any players who will make an impact for Portland in the NBA Winter League next season? (They give out rings in the Winter League, too).

Well, let’s take a look.

Trendon Watford

The 6-8 forward was named the game’s MVP after he posted 19 points and 7 rebounds in an 85-77 title-clinching win over the Knicks. Watford, who went undrafted out of LSU in 2021, signed with the Blazers last summer and played in 48 games in his rookie season. He even started 10– but that was mostly because Portland went into ultra-tank mode. The 21-year-old put up 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in 18 minutes per game. Could this Summer League show-out be the precursor for things to come in the regular season?

Well, Sacramento’s Louis King was the MVP of last year’s title game. At least, he was Sacramento’s Louis King. Then he ended up on the Westchester Knicks. So, yeah… it depends.

Brandon Williams

One of the reasons the Blazers ended up taking the summer title might have been because they were older than a lot of their competition. The 22-year-old Williams was part of that veteran crew– and he scored a game-high 22 points in the final.

Williams was undrafted out of Arizona, but he did play in 24 games for the Blazers last season and averaged 12.9 points and 3.9 assists per game. He’d need to shoot better than the 37% he did from 3 last season to stick in the league, but at 6-2, it’s not likely he’ll get much of a shot next season with Portland exiting tank mode.

Greg Brown III

Brown made some noise in Summer League last season with some ridiculous dunks (see below), and he did a lot of that once the regular season came along, too. The 20-year-old out of Texas has a real shot to make noise because of his crazy athleticism and his 6-7 frame. He can be a defensive menace, and figures to get more time next season. It’s easy to see him working his way into becoming a rotation player who can stick in the league for a while.

Jabari Walker 

The 6-9 rookie forward out of Colorado was taken with the 57th overall pick in this year’s draft. He could make an impact as a combo forward who can shoot and defend, and has the ability to rim run and score in transition. As the Blazers’ second-round pick this season, he’s got an upper hand on most of the other guys on the summer league roster, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him earn a spot once the regular season starts. Walker had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the finale against the Knicks.

Ultimately, nah, it’s not likely that the Blazers’ Summer League title means anything for anybody once we get to October. But as the only man to lead Portland to a real NBA title might say, that doesn’t matter.

I love Las Vegas. I love the Mojave Desert. I love the NBA Summer League.

Who cares whether or not it means anything.

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