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Trail Blazers Have Options for Improvement

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Matt Ellentuck of SBNation outlines Portland’s three potential courses, all of which could include the same player.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

A 10-16 start to the season has made the Portland Trail Blazers national news for the wrong reasons. Second only to buzz over the progress of newly-signed forward Carmelo Anthony, “most disappointing” references have been the single biggest national cite for the Blazers in 2019-20.

Among the writers trying to find solutions to set the franchise back on track is Matt Ellentuck of SBNation, who outlined three possible roads forward this week. The overview will be familiar to many Blazers fans, but it’s a decent summation of the hurdles the franchise faces.

Ellentuck cites the first option as waiting out the season, heading into the Summer of 2020 with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, a healthy Jusuf Nurkic, several young players, and double-digit cap space. Among the candidates suggested in the vicinity of Portland’s $20 million neighborhood are Danilo Gallinari, Joe Harris, Paul Millsap, and Montrezl Harrell. Portland’s past inability to sign high-value free agents would be the drawback to this plan.

Option two would be a blockbuster deal of the kind discussed repeatedly already. Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin seems to be the lead candidate, though Ellentuck also speculates on a Gallinari-Chris Paul package with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The third option is a more modest trade. Ellentuck includes Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love in this category, but also references Gallinari here, completing the trifecta.

Ellentuck explains the love for Gallo:

If Portland can roll out a lineup with Lillard, McCollum, Gallinari, Collins and Nurkic, with Anthony and Whiteside off the bench, they could be in business to take the seventh and eighth seeds in the west that are so easily up for grabs. That starting lineup with Simons and Little in 2021 could be explosive.

What are your thoughts on a potential Gallinari acquisition? Is the move big enough, or safe enough?