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How Many Current Trail Blazers Will Remain Next Summer?

Damian Lillard isn’t the only variable for Portland in a year of transition.

Denver Nuggets v Portland Trail Blazers - Game Six Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers roster for 2021-22 is shaping up, with but one roster spot left to be filled as training camp approaches. Before we dive into the minutiae of the coming season, let’s step back and look at the bigger picture. However the upcoming year turns out, one word is guaranteed to typify it: temporary. Even a cursory look at Portland’s salary sheet shows that this group isn’t built to last.

Basketball Insiders gives us a helpful view of the ledger, which breaks down into three categories.

Players Under Guaranteed Contract Past 2022

Five Trail Blazers have guaranteed contracts that run longer than next July. They are:

  • Damian Lillard ($44 million per year through 2024, with player option after)
  • CJ McCollum ($34.5 million per year through 2024)
  • Norman Powell ($18 million per year through 2026)
  • Larry Nance, Jr. ($9.7 million expiring contract in 2022-23)
  • Greg Brown III ($1.5 million contract in 2022-23 with a non-guaranteed year after)

Players Under Options In 2022

Three current Blazers have contract options on their rookie deals in 2022. They are:

  • Anfernee Simons ($5.8 million)
  • Nassir Little ($4.2 million)
  • CJ Elleby ($2.0 million)

Players Without Contracts in 2022

Five Blazers are playing on expiring contracts this season. They are:

  • Robert Covington
  • Jusuf Nurkic
  • Tony Snell
  • Ben McLemore
  • Cody Zeller

In a perfectly happy land, the Blazers would have the freedom to re-sign any or all of their players, leaving open the possibility of the entire team remaining intact. That’s not a likely real-world scenario. Portland would finish this season over the luxury tax threshold, incurring Repeater Tax penalties for this year’s squad. Re-signing the expiring players would guarantee they’d do the same, at an even higher level, next season. The bar to justify either of those moves is high. To this point, the Blazers have not met it.

It’s all but guaranteed that some, if not most, of the roster will turn over between now and next summer. The critical question, of course, is, who?

We’re throwing open the topic to you today, Blazer’s Edge Readers. Normally we’d ask which players will be gone by this time next year via trade or free agency, but in this case it’s simpler to ask how many will stay. Given the salary structure, team performance, trade needs, luxury tax, and all the things we know, which of these players are you most sure will last beyond next summer and why? Share your thoughts in the comments below.