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Portland Trailblazers Granted Hardship Exception; D-League Call-Up Possible?

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Potential Blazers
Potential Blazers

From Joe Freeman of the Oregonian:

The NBA has awarded the Blazers a hardship exception, giving them the option of signing a 16th player to the roster for a short-term basis. Teams are eligible for the exception after four players on a roster miss at least three games and are expected to miss two additional weeks.
"We're surveying our options," said Tom Penn, the Blazers' vice president of basketball operations. "We've been looking at free agents that are out there and available ... and we're going to keep our options open. We may or may not ultimately sign a player."

Hopefully, when Penn say "free agent," he's alluding to a player that doesn't have his right's held by another NBA team (D-League, Hooah!) and not a player that is sitting at home on the couch, waiting for an opportunity such as this (hypothetical Jonathan Bender).

Reading the comments in a similar post over at Blazersedge, the Blazers will be looking for a Greg Oden-replacing big man or possibly a defensive 3. While they'll probably find Robert Traylor (his current team suspended operations in Italy) to throw me into a rage, I'm going to endorse either Rod Benson (you know who he is) or Dwayne Jones (pulled down a 27 point, 24 board, 4 block performance last night).

Luckily, we did our first "Randy Livingston Memorial On the Edge Call-Up Rankings" today so I've got nice little blurbs to tell you about each, courtesy of Matt Moore at Hardwood Paroxysm and our very own Jon L:

Rod Benson, Reno Bighorns (16.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.4 bpg, 2.2 spg, 53% FG) - Benson's almost a volume rebounder, if there is such a thing. His DRR if he were to ever get a stinkin' flyer would be insane. All you're looking for is quality minutes and you know he'll give you that. He's added frame as he's gotten older and it's not like he's lost in terms of positioning. He's got a high basketball IQ. What's the downside here? The only thing I can figure at this point is that he peed on Adam Silver's rug at some point. And it tied the room together. (Matt Moore)


Dwayne Jones, Austin Toros (18 ppg, 13.3 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 66% FG) - Jones has clearly been working on his post moves in the offseason, and while they're still not great, he looks a lot more fluid executing them. In addition to the spin move he "had" last year he's added one where he goes underneath the basket and lays it in from the other side, which was pretty effective. And, just so we're clear, his numbers have been helped tremendously by being matched up with Kevin Pittsnogle in five of his ten games. Defensively, he's not great, but he'll block some shots and has played 80 games in the NBA, so the experience is there.


Random Retread. For comedy's sake, I chose Robert Traylor, Napoli Itialy) (9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 54% FG) - Robert Traylor has bad knees, is 32 and hasn't played in the NBA since 2005. I just feel, since the Knicks decided to pick up Jonathan Bender earlier in the week, Traylor seems to have a better shot than any D-League player.