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Best Contract: 

Al-Farouq Aminu (2 years, $14.3 million)

Finding a two-way player on the Blazers' roster is an impossible task. They don't have one. They have maybes and what-ifs, but no well-rounded balance.

Al-Farouq Aminu is the closest they come, with Maurice Harkless nipping at his heels. The 26-year-old combo forward is a defensive nuisance in pretty much every area. He has the mobility and reactive IQ to nuke pick-and-rolls; strength to bang with plodding post players; long strides to erase open looks on closeouts; and doomsday-device hands and footwork to erase iso scorers.

Turn him into a league-average sniper, and the Blazers have a prime-time three-and-D weapon in their rotation. And Aminu has it in him. He sank 36.1 percent of his deep balls in 2015-16, and while he drained just 33 percent in 2016-17, his success rate climbed to 37.3 percent after the All-Star break.

Jusuf Nurkic's arrival is a crucial ingredient to this uptick. Aminu dropped in 53.3 percent (8-of-15) when sharing the floor with him, Lillard and CJ McCollum. Trotting him out next to that many above-average playmakers increases the likelihood he'll transform into an everyday two-way force—a first-rate glue guy who'll earn less through 2018-19 than DeMarre Carroll brings home in 2017-18 alone ($14.8 million).


Worst Contract: Evan Turner (3 years, $53.6 million) 

Evan Turner looks more out of place in Portland than when he first signed a four-year, $70 million deal that shocked even him.

At least back then the Blazers could envision a scenario in which he played pseudo point guard as Lillard and McCollum orbited the space around him—not unlike his career-defining role under head coach Brad Stevens in Boston. Peddling a turnaround now, after a rather disastrous debut season, boils down to an investment in continuity.

"While Turner has never been a particularly efficient offensive player, he is effective at getting into, and scoring from, the mid-range," Peter Sampson wrote for Blazer's Edge. "He features a bevy of turnarounds and post moves that can catch defenders off guard and shot a fairly respectable 47 percent from inside the arc. It's reasonable to expect that, after a full season in Portland under his belt, he will be more comfortable in the offensive flow this season."

Familiarity won't salvage this deal. Only jump-shooting miracles will complete the rescue mission.

Turner won't ever get the chance to steer into his niche. More than 26 percent of his looks came inside three feet during his final season with Boston. That number plunged to 19.7 percent in Portland and isn't going up with Nurkic's sopping up touches and space in the middle.

The Blazers went belly-up whenever they tried playing the two together; opponents pummeled them by 33.6 points per 100 possessions through the 39-minute test run. Over that time, Turner shot 20-of-69 from the field (29 percent), including a 2-of-19 magazine from behind the rainbow (10.5 percent).

Limited samples work both ways. The good isn't beyond reproach, so the bad is not above a grace period. But Turner's deal will not look any better, or even remotely digestible, until he's back to being an asset. And that, in all likelihood, won't happen with the Blazers unless he morphs into a league-average three-point spotter.  

Source :

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