As NBA teams begin to make moves in preparation for the upcoming season, the job for many teams — including the Portland Trail Blazers — may be more difficult due to mistakes made this past season. Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz detailed where every NBA team could have done better in the 2020-21 season, naming each team’s biggest regret in terms of free agency, draft picks, trades, or coaching hires.
According to Swartz, the biggest regret of the season for the Portland Trail Blazers was failing to fix their defensive issues at the trade deadline. The Blazers lone deal at the deadline was acquiring Norman Powell from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood.
Swartz argued the move didn’t address Portland’s primary need due to Powell’s similarities to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Portland had the young talent (Gary Trent Jr., Anfernee Simons, Nassir Little) to help bring in another star with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in their primes, yet the team opted to trade for yet another modest-sized scoring guard.
Swapping Trent as part of the package for the 6’3” Norman Powell was a head-scratching move. Powell is good, but this was like painting a car that needed an oil change. Sure, the new paint may look great, but it doesn’t fix the main issue.
Considering Powell is an unrestricted free agent this summer, Swartz said the move could end up looking even worse for the Blazers.
If he leaves for nothing, that means the Blazers wasted their top trade asset in Trent, who they could have easily brought back as a restricted free agent.
Swartz said the Blazers would’ve been better off trading for a versatile wing defender who could better compliment Lillard and McCollum, such as Aaron Gordon or Marcus Smart.
You can read the full story from Swartz here.
Editor’s Note (Steve): Please welcome Conor to our BE Staff! We are excited to have him in the fold for the offseason and season ahead.