Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 10/7/14
Blazers for now Rip City fans have an uncanny ability to love and cherish their team, and as a result, the players are often considered Trail Blazers For Life instantly upon their arrival. The team has seen quite a bit of turnover the past few seasons, and with the current rebuilding process just getting under way, there are a handful of players who could disappear if the team can’t return to prominence this year. Elliot Williams Elliot Williams has the potential to be a rotation player off the bench for any NBA squad. His athleticism is top-tier in this league and he’s shown that he can produce when his number is called. The problem? The 23-year-old out of Memphis has had three season-ending surgeries in his three years with the Trail Blazers. Staying healthy is key around Portland, and with the inability to do so thus far, he may find himself looking for another team willing to take the chance. Victor Claver Victor Claver has yet to see the floor in regular season action, but at this point in his young career, it’s fair to question how well his game will translate to the NBA level. The 6’9” forward is the definition of a tweener, as his skill set doesn’t quite fit into either the small forward or power forward position. Claver may be able to make a living off his shot, but we thought the same thing about his fellow Spaniard Rudy Fernandez, didn’t we? Luke Babbitt must continue to improve if he wants to remain on the Trail Blazers long-term. Photo Credit Bruce Ely/The Oregonian Luke Babbitt Luke Babbitt went from perennial punch line to somewhat of a fan favorite with his performance late last season. He went from averaging three minutes and .8 points in January to 24.6 minutes and 8.6 points in the month of April. Babbitt is the kind of player who could thrive in a Terry Stotts offense, but that’s exactly why he’ll be heavily scrutinized if he reverts back to his old ways. The 6’9” forward has a very good shot, but when it’s not falling, it’s tough to find an area on the floor where he’ll find success. He’s not the most dynamic player, so he needs to make a name for himself as a lights-out shooter, and he needs to do it this year. J.J. Hickson Trail Blazers fans learned to love J.J. Hickson late last year, and they were thrilled to find out that the team re-signed him for the 2012-13 season. His deal, however, is only for one year, and by the time free agency comes around, he’ll be ready to earn his first big contract. Hickson is currently playing center for the Blazers, which means two things. First, he is extremely undersized, and two, he has a rookie center itching to take his starting spot. If Hickson is willing to play behind LaMarcus Aldridge moving forward, there’s a spot for him on this roster as long as he wants it. But Hickson is young, and he’s looking for a place where he can start and truly make a name for himself. Wesley Matthews Wesley Matthews joined the Trail Blazers after his first season in the NBA, and he earned himself a hefty contract that the Utah Jazz simply weren’t willing to match. Unfortunately for Matthews and his fans, that contract could be the reason he find himself exiting Portland sometime this season. John Hollinger of ESPN (Insider) has projected that the Trail Blazers are going to finish dead last in the Northwest division, and could look to trade Matthews at the deadline in order to create free-agent flexibility next offseason. If Matthews proves this year the he can be a consistent option on offense, his spot on the team is safe. If he can’t, the team may look to go another direction while continuing to rebuild. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE BLAZERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB! © Bryant Knox for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment | Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share NWSportsBeat.com on Facebook Post tags: Elliot Williams, J.J. Hickson, LaMarcus Aldridge, Luke Babbitt, portland, Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Trail Blazers Blog, Victor Claver, Wesley Matthews
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Peyton Manning sets NFL touchdown passing record

Report: CJ Spiller suffers broken collarbone

DeMarco Murray sets record with another 100-yard game

Report: Things got 'ugly' in Bears locker room after loss

Rams beat Seahawks thanks to gutsy fake punt call

Brian Kelly unloads on officials for pass interference call

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Redskins bench Kirk Cousins for Colt McCoy

Brett Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Joseph Randle partners with underwear company after arrest

Report: Seahawks asked about Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron

Florida fans chant for Will Muschamp to be fired

Gennady Golovkin scores second-round knockout win

Video: Alec Burks breaks Kobe Bryant's ankles

WATCH: Sean Payton has tense exchange with reporter

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans with whiteboard

WATCH: Tony Romo nearly runs over Alex Rodriguez

WATCH: Prince Amukamara pulls Dwayne Harris' hair

What was the meaning behind Doug Baldwin's TD celebration?

Luke Kuechly ejected after questionable call

WATCH: Giovanni Bernard gets leveled by Vontae Davis

WATCH: Rams run awesome trick play for punt return TD

Kyle Orton shaves his epic mustache

Florida State beats Notre Dame 31-27 in thriller

LenDale White goes off on USC AD after being escorted out

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Report: Marshall calls out Jay Cutler

Darnell Dockett mocks Raiders fans

Brian Kelly unloads on officials

WATCH: Rams run punt return trick play for TD

Joseph Randle now an underwear spokesman?

Ex-Trojans RB escorted out after USC game

FSU tops Notre Dame in thriller

Fans chant for Muschamp's head

Popovich zings Suns owner

Golden Tate reacts to Percy Harvin trade

N.J. gov signs sports betting bill into law

WATCH: Tulane QB Nick Montana spikes ball on 4th down

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.