Cliff Alexander RumorsAll NBA Players
Trail Blazers rookie big man Cliff Alexander was inactive for Portland’s season opening win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night as he recovers from a left knee injury he suffered early in training camp. But he may be out for longer than expected, according to a report from Jay Allen of Fox Sports Radio. Alexander was initially expected to miss “a couple weeks” with a bone bruise, but may need surgery after a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on Tuesday revealed he had suffered a setback, according to Allen.
An MRI confirmed Portland Trail Blazers forward Cliff Alexander has a bone bruise on his left knee, said head coach Terry Stotts after Saturday’s practice. “We’re going to shut him down for a couple of weeks and then work him back in,” Stotts said. “He’s going to be out for a little bit.”
Reggie Brown, the agent for undrafted Kansas forward Cliff Alexander, in a very good story on SBNation on his winding path to the NBA after one season in Lawrence. Alexander had hoped to go late in the first round or early in the second, but would not agree to play overseas for a year in exchange for being selected. “I don’t speak up that often, but I felt I needed to clear the air. I wish someone had just asked me for clarification before everyone immediately jumped to negative assumptions. A couple people sometimes ruin it for everyone else. I’ve got no hard feelings, but I do see why some guys are more skeptical about opening up when this type of thing happens.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and then deputy commissioner Mark Tatum took to a stage in New York to read off 60 names. As Alexander waited more than three hours, the party slowly dissipated. That’s when reality set in. His name wasn’t going to be called. “It blindsided me,” Alexander told SB Nation. “I was disappointed, but I always play with a chip on my shoulder. Now I’m playing with a bunch of chips on my shoulder.”
As the NBA continues to downsize in the frontcourt, many around Alexander believe he could grow into a quality small ball center option. He lacks the height of a traditional five, but makes up for it with a 7’3 wingspan and enough strength to hold his own in the post. In a world where Draymond Green was the starting center for the team that won the NBA Finals, it seems foolish to discount Alexander’s potential fit at the five.