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Are the Trail Blazers in the Midst of a Rebuild?

Playoff team, growing team, or both?

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Portland Trail Blazers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers’ year follows a seasonal pattern. Just as leaves fall in the autumn, October’s Media Day will be full of talk about past accomplishments and plans for improvement over the year to come. April’s postmortem interviews will explain why those plans didn’t quite come to fruition, but there’s still hope.

Like a swallow returning to Capistrano, the phrase, “We are in Year [X] of a five-year rebuild” inevitably alights on the stage after Portland’s elimination from the playoffs. It’s a rationale for fans to stay patient, perhaps a subtle undercutting of expectations that things would be any different than they are.

The phrase can be justified from certain points of view. Franchise cornerstone LaMarcus Aldridge did leave the team in 2015, mandating a significant overhaul. On the other hand, the Blazers wasted no time anointing Damian Lillard as the new King of Portland and rebuilding teams don’t generally push the limits of the luxury tax.

We’ll offer no sweeping analysis of the probably doesn’t merit much. Rather, we simply want to know what you think when you hear, “Remember, we’re in Year [X] of a rebuild.” What do you make of it, how do you process it, how do you perceive it being used... what is your gut reaction?