The Blazers have missed the playoffs for the past two seasons and there is urgency to get better, especially with Damian Lillard entering his mid-30’s.
Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey also agrees that the Blazers need to make a change, listing them at No. 24 in his latest power rankings.
Like Washington and the prospect of a rebuild, the idea of a Damian Lillard trade seemingly comes up every summer. The noise is plenty loud on that front already, but we’ll once again assume the star stays put.
Whether that means Portland generally stands pat or does something dramatic like trade Anfernee Simons and the No. 3 pick, the presence of Lillard alone means the Blazers will be a tough out (as long as he’s actually playing).
In his age-32 season, he posted career highs in points per game (32.2), threes per game (4.2), free throws per game (8.8), true shooting percentage, assist percentage and offensive box plus/minus. When available, he doesn’t appear to be slowing down.
Lillard raises Portland’s floor, but he needs some supporting cast members in order to elevate his and the Blazers’ ceiling. If Portland is able to piece together a strong draft and free agency period, perhaps the team will rise up in the next edition of the power rankings.