Despite a win over the Atlanta Hawks, there is no denying it has been a tough stretch for hte Portland Trail Blazers. Dealing with coronavirus and health and safety protocols has taken a toll on the team, and it showed last week in losses to the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Zach Harper of the Athletic dropped the Blazers down a spot in his most recent power rankings, placing them at no. 24.
Blow this thing up. I’m not sure Joe Cronin has the true authority right now in an interim role to make huge wholesale changes for the Portland Trail Blazers roster. That feels like something ownership would rather have in the hands of someone getting the job full time. So if Cronin isn’t on the path to being the main person moving forward, it wouldn’t make sense to have him swinging huge trades. But the Blazers should do it. It doesn’t have to mean Damian Lillard goes, but CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic and Robert Covington (if you can get someone to believe he’s still a difference-maker) should probably be on the move. What’s existing now isn’t working, and it doesn’t sound like there’s a ton of confidence that it’ll get back to where it needs to be when McCollum comes back to full strength. The Blazers should’ve made some moves a long time ago, and now they’re just barely competitive a lot of nights.
Currently, the Blazers are between the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings in the Athletic’s rankings, putting them at the bottom of what Harper calls “Play-In Tournament Gives Them Life.”
You can read the entire rankings here (subscription required).