The Portland Trail Blazers need to improve on defense if they want to contend for a championship.
In their four years since reaching the Western Conference Finals, the Blazers have been a bottom-five defense in every season. In that 2018-19 season, Portland ranked 16th in defensive rating, which isn’t spectacular, but is far better than the showing in recent seasons.
That 2018-19 team played the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, and they finished 13th in defensive rating, anchored by Draymond Green.
Green will be a free agent this summer if he opts out of his deal, and Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz believes he could be a target for the Blazers.
Assuming Damian Lillard stays in Portland (which may not be a safe assumption at this point), Portland desperately needs to add defensive help around him. The Blazers have ranked 27th, 29th, 29th and 28th in total defense the last four years.
Green will almost certainly stay with the Golden State Warriors, but he can become a free agent if he turns down a $27.6 million player option. A 2021 report stated that Lillard “has been obsessed” with getting Green to Portland.
It would be surprising to see Green leave Golden State, especially on his own accord. However, Green may be looking to cash in for his final major contract, and the Warriors may not be willing to pay the price. Green also began the season feuding with teammate Jordan Poole, who was given that lucrative extension a year ago that Green is seeking now.
Should the marriage between Green and the Warriors end, the Blazers should at least consider the possibility of giving the four-time NBA champion a call.