Zach Lowe of Grantland.com wonders whether Portland Trail Blazers fans are comfortable with the team's inactivity at this year's trade deadline. Lowe writes that the Blazers' lack of movement could be a sign that management is focused on building a "good" team that is sustainable rather than going for broke in pursuit of a championship.
Expectations are funny. If you had told Portland fans in October the Blazers would go 51-31 and lose to Houston in the first round, I bet most would have taken that with a stunned smile. But then the Blazers started 24-5, creating false hope they might be a championship contender even though their defense never cracked the top 20 for an extended stretch.
Teams more than ever want to make sure they are in a position for sustained, long-term success. Everyone wants to win a title, but savvy front offices understand how difficult that is and view Mavs-ian long-term very goodness, or even just Hawks-ian goodness, as a desirable outcome. Dallas under the old CBA spent its way to 50 wins every season. Under a new CBA that cripples tax teams, the path to sustainable success comes via the melding of veteran players, draft picks, and salary flexibility.
Portland didn't have a pick to trade, a workable expiring contract, or a pricey expendable veteran other than Robin Lopez. The Blazers could have packaged Lopez and C.J. McCollum in an attempt to find rim protection, but it doesn't appear they had serious interest in Omer Asik, and they value their current chemistry. It will be interesting to see if fans accept the stasis, though.
The full piece, which includes other trade deadline reflections, is right here.
Last Thursday, 56 percent of Blazersedge poll respondents wanted to see Portland make a move while 38 percent were OK with standing pat.
PS Thanks to BlazersMakrReturns in the FanShots.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter