The Portland Trail Blazers offseason continues, and while the trade rumors have slowed down surrounding Damian Lillard, there’s still a lot of talk about the team’s potential this upcoming season. Did all of the rumors about Dame potentially wanting to force his way out of Portland have an impact on the way the Blazers are being perceived? Brad Botkin of CBS Sports argues that it did.
After a summer of Damian Lillard trade rumors based around the idea that the Portland Trail Blazers are simply not a championship team, it has become easy to go too far with the takes. No, the Blazers would not appear to be an upper-class contender. But they have a chance to be a top-four seed in the Western Conference as constructed, and that is a really good team.
Botkin goes on to discuss the moves the Trail Blazers have currently made in the offseason, citing the acquiring of Larry Nance Jr. as a potentially game-changing move.
Billups could bring Nance off the bench, or he could move Powell to sixth man and use Nance to elevate the defense of the starting unit, which still has more than enough offense with Lillard, McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. I like the latter option. Have two of Lillard, McCollum and Powell on the court at pretty much all times is a huge leg up against opposing bench units that won’t have to be entirely offense dependent as they were with Enes Kanter and Carmelo Anthony.