The Portland Trail Blazers are in an odd position heading into the Summer of 2022. They’re guaranteed at least one lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. They may get two, depending on whether the New Orleans Pelicans have to convey theirs to Portland. (That happens if the pick falls in the 5-14 range.) They also hold the possibility of cap space, either to chase free agents or re-sign incumbents Jusuf Nurkic and Anfernee Simons...maybe a little bit of both.
On the other hand, Portland is concluding a season which, by any objective terms, was an abject failure. They traded away their second-best player in CJ McCollum. Most of their veterans are gone as well. They’re clinging onto Josh Hart, the aforementioned incumbent free agents, and a lot of young players. Those are the only firm assets surrounding soon-to-be 32-year-old All-Star Damian Lillard.
The team stands at a crossroads, with Lillard as the fulcrum. Do they spend big, maybe trading picks for veterans, and make a serious stab at carrying Dame to playoffs contention? Or do they spend/reserve their flexibility at a measured pace, building slower, going younger, and hoping to carry Lillard to a title run late in his career instead of depending on him to carry them to one now?
Given the situation, we’re asking you two questions today:
- Which way do you think the Blazers WILL turn?
- Which way do you think the Blazers SHOULD turn?
If 1 and 2 are different, why do you think that gap exists?
Go ahead and let your opinions fly in the comments section. I have mine, too, but I’ll summarize in a later post or podcast.