The Portland Trail Blazers, along with several other teams. shook up their roster at February’s NBA trade deadline. With a couple months of experience showing winners and losers in the mid-season swap-fest, Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale compiled a list of teams who might not regard their moves highly in the rear-view mirror. In the process, Favale mentioned the Blazers as one of the teams that might regret their deadline.
Despite getting back Cam Reddish, Matisse Thybulle, Kevin Knox, Ryan Arcidiacono, and a couple picks, that the Blazers didn’t do enough to move the needle with their mid-season moves. Despite Thybulle and Reddish showing promise, the Blazers still find themselves firmly outside of the playoff picture.
Both Reddish and Thybulle have turned out to be potential keepers in advance of restricted free agency. Thybulle, in particular, looks more serviceable on offense than he ever did with the Philadelphia 76ers. Since arriving in Portland, he’s moving more often and confidently toward the basket without the ball and hitting 39.1 percent of his 4.3 three-point attempts.
That doesn’t make this an inspiring sequence of events. The Blazers were supposed to skirt another gap year because they have Lillard. Instead, they find themselves with a bottom-three Western Conference record that has left Dame calmly calling surrender.
Favale does give some credit to the acquisition of draft capital, but questions whether it will pan out the way the Blazers hope.
Portland will be rewarded with somewhere between top-five-to-eight lottery odds for its raging incompetence. That’s not nothing. Maybe the Blazers can turn some combination of that pick, New York’s first, Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe into a co-star—preferably one who, at long last, stands taller than 6’3”.
But this is not a team that can definitively outbid the field for players worth a damn. It owes a first-rounder to Chicago that’s lottery protected through 2028, inherently limiting the amount of future draft equity it can send out.
Several other teams made Favale’s naughty list, including the Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies, and Denver Nuggets, all Western Conference compatriots to the Trail Blazers.