The Trail Blazers’ re-tooled roster for the 2020-21 season is gathering steam in several preseason power rankings. On Monday, ESPN’s latest list placed the Blazers just outside of the top ten at No. 11.
ESPN’s Royce Young highlighted Portland’s improved forward rotation and bolstered depth when discussing the rankings.
The Blazers cashed in some chips this offseason to get better, adding Robert Covington (in exchange for a future pick), inking Derrick Jones Jr. and Enes Kanter, and re-signing Carmelo Anthony. The Blazers added depth to their previously thinned-out rotation and provided the kind of defensive wing length and physical skills that were the formula to their Western Conference finals run two seasons ago.
Of the teams in the Northwest Division, only the Nuggets placed above the Blazers in ESPN’s latest rankings.
Outside of ESPN, the The Ringer released their NBA Tiers on Monday. In their rankings, the Blazers landed in the “Playoff Locks” tier, the third group inside The Ringer’s analysis. The Warriors, Rockets, Pacers, Suns, Raptors and Jazz were also placed in the same tier as the Blazers.
In 2019-20, the Blazers finished with 35 victories in the regular season.