But now Little is sidelined, too.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Significant injuries continue to pummel the Blazers: The left shoulder labral tear for forward Nassir Little is likely to sideline him for the rest of the season, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 27, 2022
This is lost valuable development time for Little, who has improved steadily through his three-year career. The 21-year-old will be eligible for a contract extension this offseason.
This also exponentially dents Portland’s postseason chances.
Lillard said he’d be more likely to return if the Trail Blazers remain in the playoff race. Portland has gone 7-6 since Lillard last went out and is clinging to play-in position at 10th in the Western Conference. But it’ll be harder to maintain that pace with Lillard, Robert Covington, Larry Nance Jr., Dennis Smith Jr., Cody Zeller and now Little banged up.
A tumble in the standings could make the Trail Blazers even more likely to trade Covington, who has already figured prominently in rumors. Dealing Covington with Little sideline would really hinder forward depth.
It’s not hard to envision Portland tanking down the stretch.