NBA Free Agency 2018 will likely not be remembered as a favorable one for the Portland Trail Blazers, as Ed Davis, Shabazz Napier and Pat Connaughton departed, while Nik Stauskas and Seth Curry entered. They did re-sign Jusuf Nurkic to a favorable deal, but Chris Herring of FiveThirtyEight sees Portland as one of the major “Losers” following the summer of 2018.
If there’s a sour taste in the mouths of Blazers fans, though, it should stem from the notion that Portland could have — and possibly would have — completed a sign-and-trade for Cousins had it not been that he and Nurkic have representatives who work for the same agency, potentially creating a conflict. Such a deal would have provided the sort of shakeup that a capped-out team like Portland needs. Instead, we may see this team — one of the few that enjoyed good health last year — finish near the bottom of the playoff pool in the West.
Joining Portland in the Losers category is Houston, with their signing of Carmelo Anthony and losses of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute.
Editor’s note: Thank you to Blazer’s Edge contributor Kody Tarbell for this write-up.