Another relatively passive off-season for the Portland Trail Blazers has called into question their overall strategy. Today James Herbert of CBS Sports joins the chorus of question marks, discussing the Blazers among six NBA franchise who made no big moves this summer. While some teams, like the Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz, have justification for standing Pat, Herbert does not see the same promise in Portland.
On the one hand, [President of Basketball Operations Neil] Olshey can’t go back in time and undo the damage that was done when Portland went on a spending spree two summers ago. While it is easy to say he should blow it up, you obviously don’t just dump players as good as Lillard and McCollum. If there was no appealing, franchise-changing move to be made, it makes sense to wait. After all, the Blazers were third in the West last season. (And, hey, the [Seth] Curry deal was nice!)
On the other, they only won three more games than the ninth-seeded Denver Nuggets. They needed a heroic run from Lillard in the second half of the season to get where they were. It feels like the team has stagnated, and Kevin Durant was right to laugh at the idea of Portland being close to championship contention. There are real concerns here.