In breaking down the key moves of the offseason for each NBA team, Frank Urbina and Alberto de Roa of HoopsHype ranked the Portland Trail Blazers’ offseason seventh among all teams, giving them an A- for their moves.
HoopsHype was most impressed with Portland acquiring solid players on the wing to fill the positional void, getting Robert Covington via trade and Derrick Jones Jr. through free agency. They also noted that re-signing Carmelo Anthony and Rodney Hood was smart for adding depth, but Covington and Jones were who they thought were the best finds.
Portland was able to fill their biggest need – competent, athletic, 3-and-D pieces on the wing – by pulling off a heist of a trade in acquiring Covington from the Houston Rockets and only losing a 2021 first-round pick (top-14 protected), the No. 16 pick in 2020 (which became Isaiah Stewart) and Trevor Ariza in the swap, as well as by signing Jones Jr. from Miami. Both players should fit excellently with the Blazers alongside Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, as Portland’s three top players will be able to focus on scoring and playmaking while the two wings do all of the dirty work.
The only knock Urbina and de Roa had for Portland was that the contract for Jones was a little too much. But even though they think that it’s a slight overpay for the 23-year-old wing, they also think it’s not a truly bad move.
The only way we can even remotely knock the Blazers’ offseason was to say they may have slightly overpaid Jones Jr., who got two fully guaranteed years from Portland worth nearly $19 million, but even then, that wasn’t an egregious move, either.
If you want to read some more Neil Olshey praise and see how the rest of the league stacks up, click here.