The Portland Trail Blazers 3rd summer league game was an exciting one as it went to a double overtime sudden death with the Utah Jazz, and they ended up winning on a Pat Connaugton 3 pointer by a final score of 92-89.
It was not exciting for everyone involved however. Former beaver Omari Johnson failed to crack the rotation for a 3rd straight game. While Cliff Alexander, Noah Vonleh, second round pick Jake Layman and even journeyman Chris Johnson saw playing time, Omari Johnson was stuck on the bench only able to watch as his team got their first win of the Las Vegas Summer League. Even with the talent at the forward position on the roster it is some what of a surprise to see a guy who played for the Blazers preseason team last season not get a chance to showcase his talent. If not for the Blazers than for another team to potentially pick him up.
A couple of the other forwards on the roster played huge minutes in today's game. Jake Layman played 37 minutes and Noah Vonleh played 35 minutes. These numbers are very high for summer league especially for Vonleh who is entering his 3rd NBA season and seems to have proven himself at this point. Vonleh and Layman will both likely be on the roster on opening night and the Blazers could open up more time for other players trying to make a name for themselves. Borderline NBA players usually do not stand the best chance of landing on a roster, and the Blazers are probably playing Layman to get a good look at him and get him experience. However in Vonleh's case, you do not usually see this many minutes for players who are experienced.
Surely Johnson would love to get some playing time as he is not getting any younger, now 27 years old, and would like another chance on a preseason roster. It just doesn't seem like the Portland Trail Blazers are that right fit for him because of the depth of forwards on this team. Johnson may have to end up making a living overseas or in the D-League and hope that his performances there lead to a chance at an NBA contract.