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Can Damian Lillard Attract Free Agents to the Blazers?

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Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes discussed where Portland ranks as a free agent destination.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Orlando Magic Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Trail Blazers are currently in the spotlight thanks to their run to the Western Conference Finals. But will that be enough to attract free agents this summer? Prior to the Warriors visit to Portland for Game 3, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes took a look at where the Blazers rank alongside other free agent destinations this summer.

Bleacher Report’s rankings divided the teams into categories based on salary cap situations. Due to their bursting payroll, the Blazers were discussed in the “Taxpaying Teams” section.

According to Hughes, Damian Lillard gives Portland a shot at re-assembling a roster capable of making another deep postseason run.

If anything, they’re likely to lose a few key pieces, as Enes Kanter, Al-Farouq Aminu, Rodney Hood and Seth Curry are all on expiring deals. With around $122 million in guaranteed salary locked in for 2019-20, Portland will have to plunge deep into tax territory to bring back those players. Meanwhile, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Moe Harkless, Evan Turner, Jusuf Nurkic and Meyers Leonard are all due to make eight figures in 2019-20.

Portland figures to be competitive, and Lillard’s presence might otherwise attract stars, but this franchise’s ownership situation is in flux following the death of Paul Allen in October. And, again, there’s just no realistic path to meaningful free-agent additions because finances are so strained.

Of the five teams listed in the same section, only the Raptors finished in front of the Blazers. You can read the full set of rankings at Bleacher Report.