Blazers Announce Winner Of Starting Small Forward Spot

The Portland Trail Blazers came into training camp with one starting spot open for the taking, at small forward. That competition has now been decided with over a week to go before Opening Night, with the announcement that Josh Hart is the starting SF. 

"Josh has earned it," said head coach Chauncey Billups. "He’s played well enough, he’s done a good job… Josh just gives us something we don’t have in the starting lineup.” Billups has raved about "Hart’s dogged determination on defense, basketball IQ and willingness to do whatever it takes to win," writes Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian 

Justise Winslow and Nassir Little were the others vying for the job, but since arriving in Portland at the trade deadline in the deal for CJ McCollum, Hart quickly entrenched himself as a key piece for the Blazers, averaging 19.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists in his 19 games with the club. 

Hart joins a solid starting lineup, with Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant and Jusuf Nurkic. 

Photo: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports