The Portland Trail Blazers are all set to enter the 2022-23 regular season with a revamped lineup featuring All-Star guard Damian Lillard surrounded by Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant, and Jusuf Nurkic in the starting lineup. Several observers have noted that Portland remains thin in the frontcourt, even though they have a surplus of wings.
In order to gain flexibility to make the moves they have, the Blazers also traded away several prominent players over the last couple seasons. Blazer’s Edge reader Butch noticed the juxtaposition of these two things and asked the following question via Twitter:
Hey Dave: Out of the Blazers that were shipped out this last year, the one Blazer I would really like to have back to join the current roster is Larry Nance Jr. I think he would help fill some holes. Who would you want to bring back?
It’s an interesting thought. We should note that in most cases, retaining incumbent players would have meant sacrificing the ability to acquire new ones, but let’s pretend that necessity could be overcome for a moment. Also, let’s automatically disqualify CJ McCollum, as the Blazers could re-acquire him simply to trade him again. He’s far and away the best player they’ve lost and he would skew the results.
Here’s a list of the semi-significant players the Blazers have parted with over the last two seasons. If you could choose one to return to this year’s rotation, whom would you pick? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Larry Nance, Jr.
Dennis Smith, Jr.
Harry Giles III
Derrick Jones, Jr.
Gary Trent, Jr.