The Portland Trail Blazers continue to prepare for training camp by mining for former lottery picks. After signing former lottery pick, Dennis Smith Jr. to a contract, the Blazers signed Marquese Chriss to a non-guaranteed contract according to the Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Free agent C/F Marquese Chriss has agreed to a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Chriss has fully recovered from broken leg last December and will compete for a roster spot in Blazers’ camp.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 4, 2021
Like the aforementioned Dennis Smith Jr., Chriss’ deal is to compete for a roster spot in training camp. The Blazers want an extended look to see if the young big man can prove to be a valuable addition for the upcoming 2021-2022 NBA season backing up Jusuf Nurkic and Cody Zeller. He will also be competing with recently acquired Larry Nance Jr. and Robert Covington for minutes at power forward.
Chriss was a lottery pick of the 2016 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns as a prospect loaded with athleticism and fluidity for his size. But since coming into the NBA with promise, he has struggled to find a home early in his career.
Chriss fractured his fibula last year playing for the Golden State Warriors early in the 2020-21 season and barely saw the court. The Warriors eventually traded Chriss was to the San Antonio Spurs for the draft rights to 2015 second-round draft pick Cady Lalanne at the NBA trade deadline. Marquese was then waived to free up a roster spot for Gorgui Dieng.
Having Chriss ready to be called upon could be Portland’s plans going forward into training camp.