Last month at this time Steven Hill and Luke Jackson looked poised to battle for the final roster spot. But now Shavlik Randolph – the last invitee into camp – appears the front-runner to be Portland’s 15th man. Randolph certainly made his case late last week against the Atlanta Hawks (19 points, 9-9 from the field) and head coach Nate McMillan will be the first to tell you Shavlik knows how to play the right way.
McMillan is also a proponent of Hill’s. And you have to think that GM Kevin Pritchard may pull for Randolph to stick around for his production and playability. That’s the assumption at least.
So how will this debate and roster roll-call play out?
Will the return of Channing Frye this week to practice and the rest of the preseason cut into Randolph’s playing time? Or will the Blazers brass choose not to fill the last roster spot and opt instead to wait by the waiver wire for a big man – sorry Luke and Jamaal Tatum. Taking a look at some of those being waived from camp of late, you might as well throw this option to the wayside.
Besides, you’re not going to find a better big man available right now than Hill.
I’ll be honest. Randolph has played much better than I thought he would thus far. I also thought Hill would get more playing time than he has – a chance to show he can do more than just be Greg Oden’s sparring partner in practice. But with three preseason games left – Kings, Clippers, Jazz – Randolph is the man to beat at this point.
Who would have thunk it?
pic via: yahoosports