July 4, 2016, 3:32 pm
There are conflicting reports out of Oregon but the most recent report from Jason Quick of CSNNW indicates the Blazers are not going to pursue Festus Ezeli or Nene, but rather they’re turning their attention to Zaza Pachulia.
We’re not sure what they’re going for here as they have Mason Plumlee and none of these guys presents a major upgrade at center, and that’s before we get to the part about Meyers Leonard being incapable of playing the four without a dramatic improvement in foot speed and awareness.
Leonard’s disappearing act started with a vote of no-confidence by management to kick off last season — a season when he was pushed as a foundational player — and everything spiraled from there. He injured an ankle in preseason, found himself playing out of position, and most importantly he lost a lot of confidence.
Defensively he looked lost and his rebounding numbers were down playing more on the perimeter. His shoulder injury capped everything off and Leonard’s value has dropped significantly. His agent’s initial demands on an extension and Portland’s rejection make it seem unlikely that they’ll do anything but let the market determine his value, and it could be very likely that the pursuit of another big man is linked to the inevitable departure of Meyers Legend.