Ryan Beltram of the Eugene Daily News composes a list of five players the Portland Trail Blazers should target this summer, including New Orleans Pelicans center Robin Lopez and Milwaukee Bucks forward Mike Dunleavy.
He might not be as talented as his brother Brook, but Robin Lopez showed that given the minutes, he can provide high energy, shot-blocking and hustle. Anthony Davis missed time this season due to injury and as a result, Lopez was New Orleans' starting center for the majority of the season. A legitimate 7-footer, Lopez can provide the size Portland lacked with J.J. Hickson at center. Appearing in all 82 games, the former first-round pick doubled his scoring output and produced career highs in rebounding, block shots and free throw percentage.
He would need to increase his rebounding efficiency however. At 26 minutes a game, Lopez averaged under six rebounds per game. But if he was in Portland, they would undoubtedly split his minutes with Meyers Leonard at the five position. So the team wouldn't be getting a game-changing center, but at least a guy who can fill up space in the paint.
Speaking of the Milwaukee Bucks, Dunleavy is another veteran player who would provide much-needed shooting and scoring punch off the bench. A double-digit scorer for his entire career, Dunleavy would give the Blazers 10+ points, 4 rebounds and nearly 40 percent shooting from long distance. The former Portland resident wouldn't help much on the defensive end (particularly on the perimeter), but Dunleavy's size allows him to play multiple positions so the team could put him on the other team's worst offensive player.
The Blazers aren't getting big-name free agents like Chris Paul or Dwight Howard. They don't have the money or the desirable location for that. But they do have a young team that isn't far from becoming a playoff contender again. For two or three veteran players looking for a team, that has to be enticing.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter