The Blazers announced a few weeks ago that fourth-year center Meyers Leonard would be shut down for the season and require shoulder surgery. On Friday, Leonard underwent a procedure to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, which the team says will sideline him between six and eight months.
It’s too bad for Leonard, on two levels. First, he won’t get to play in the playoffs, where his combination of size and shooting would help the Blazers in a lot of matchups. But it’s also unfortunate timing for Leonard because he’s set to become a restricted free agent this summer and he had hoped to cash in with the rising salary cap and a skillset that fits the direction the NBA is going. A 6-to-8-month timetable means, best-case scenario, he’ll be back in time for training camp, and could miss the first couple months of next season if rehab doesn’t go smoothly. With the amount of cap space teams will have, someone will take a gamble on him. But it may not be for as much money as he’d hoped.