“I don't know who is going to start at center on October 31," said Terry Stotts. "That's why you have training camp, that's why you compete for minutes, that's why you compete for a starting position."
However, we know three other big bodies on the Portland Trail Blazers’ roster who may think otherwise. Enter Joel Freeland, Meyers Leonard and J.J. Hickson. All expressed their burning desire to start at Portland Trail Blazers’ vacant center spot, during Monday’s media day.
So what to these three candidates for starting center bring to the game? Let’s have a brief overview of the top three choices.
- J.J. Hickson
However, the Portland Trail Blazers’ main concern with J.J. Hickson will be his consistency on the defense. Portland Trail Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey stated that the prospect of using J.J. Hickson on four rather than five presented “unique” possibilities due to his toughness and “great center of gravity.”
- Meyers Leonard
"I wouldn't jump the gun,” state Meyers Leonard. “It’s all about who wants to come in and work the hardest, learn and shows they care the most. (However) if the opportunity presents itself, I'm a competitor.”
While Neil Olshey acknowledged Meyers Leonard’s ball handling skills, jumpers and accuracy from the free-throw line, he expressed concern over the players’ lack of experience during his freshman year.
But Terry Stotts hasn’t run him out of the competition just yet.
"Meyers is going to be a contributor no question," claimed Terry Stotts. "He's played very well, his offense is better than I expected.”
- Joel Freeland
Terry Stotts claimed he was still absorbing Joel Freeland’s talent after witnessing him on court for eth first time during Portland Trail Blazers’ voluntary workouts that took place in September.
Neil Olshey described Joel Freeland as an interesting piece who can swing both ways at the four and the five,” but was till rusty to the way of the NBA games.
I'm going to do what I can to solidify that (starting center prospect),” stated Joel Freeland. “All I can do is play the way I play, play the way I know, learn from everybody around me.”