Count NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman among the chorus of national writers giving the Portland Trail Blazers a mediocre offseason grade. He wrote about the Trail Blazers this week concluding that the Blazers spent enough to keep problems from compounding, but not enough to get better. Feldman gave the Blazers a solid ‘C’, meaning they’re in a similar standing after the summer.
According to Feldman, the Blazers made some sensible moves this summer including signing Jusuf Nurkic to a team-friendly deal, picking up Gary Trent Jr. in the second round, and signing Nik Stauskas early in the free agency period.
The panic of Portland quickly agreeing to a minimum contract with Nik Stauskas in the opening moments of free agency was overwrought. Nearly all teams fill the end of their roster with minimum players. The Trail Blazers just aggressively targeted the minimum player they wanted before conducting other business or hoping a better player fell into the minimum tier. It’s a strategy more teams should take.
I’m not sure that other teams are going to adopt this attitude when there are typically plenty of minimum players available several days into the free agency period.
These reasonable moves were offset by actions that allowed for a “slow bleed of talent from Portland” such as letting Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier sign elsewhere.
No surprise that the summer of ‘16 was brought up as the reason the Blazers kept it conservative this year.
The Trail Blazers seem to be just waiting out the contracts of Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard and hoping for the best. With Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum in their primes, that stagnancy is disappointing.
The piece is part of a series for NBC Sports evaluating the summer moves of every team in the NBA. You can read more from Feldman here.
Do you think this is a fair assessment? What do you think about the Stauskas signing? Let us know in the comments below.