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You Get to Play Blazer’s Edge Mailbag Expert

A reader has a question about the upcoming draft. Offer your best advice!

2023 NBA Draft Combine Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Blazer’s Edge Mailbag has been a regular feature at this site almost since Day 1, about 17 years now. We always get far more questions about the Trail Blazers than we can possibly answer. It’s a fascinating way to keep tabs on the pulse of the fan base and engage in interesting thought exercises.

The formula of the Mailbag is simple. People write in questions. I condense them and try to answer, hopefully bringing out meaning and nuance beyond the obvious.

Today, I thought I’d let you into the process! I’m going to share an unedited question from a reader...a good one, with multiple avenues of approach. Once you’ve read it, YOU get to be the expert, answering as best you can in the comments.

Ready? Here you go.

Hey Dave! [Or in this case, Hey Fellow Readers]

Question for you! Am I crazy, or does it feel incredibly obvious that the Blazers are definitely keeping this pick. Outside of a scenario where another team blows them away with a trade offer that is just too good to say no to, the safest thing to do is to take the dang pick. I don’t see that offer coming from anywhere, do you?

I know there has been a lot of smoke about the Blazers moving the pick to appease Dame and try and take a big swing at building a contender quickly. But then when I try to think about, “what if I were Joe Cronin and I were trying to keep my job?” From that perspective, I think it becomes more clear. This is considered by most to be a 3 player draft. Blazers have the 3rd pick. Cronin doesn’t look bad if Scoot turns out to be better than Miller or visa versa, he is just going to pick whoever is left.

If Dame asks out he can say, “hey, we looked for a trade but the other teams were asking for too much. It wouldn’t have been responsible.” Then he gets to reset the team’s cap sheet. While ownership has been ok with putting a toe into the tax, they have seemed hesitant to be big spenders. With a new CBA with even more punitive tax measures in the horizon, I doubt the Vulcans and Jody Allen are eager to start shelling out the big bucks now.

I also don’t see how any of these proposed trades don’t immediately blow up in Cronin’s face. Going all in on Siakum, Bridges or Brown won’t elevate the Blazers to contenders. Brown and Siakum will immediately put the Blazers in cap hell though as they are both due new contracts that will be incredibly expensive. And as much as I love Bridges, he is incredibly overvalued at this moment. Trading for him as though he’s some sort of all-nba level star rather than what he is, an elite roll player that can fit well on most any team, seems silly.

It all just seems a little obvious from that perspective. Am I being too reductive? Am I being silly for dismissing all these reports from multiple sources that are saying, “the Blazers are going to go for it?” I just have trouble believing anything from sports media considering the smoke and mirrors of it all. All the agents and executives and players who could be sources for this reporting all have their own agendas. And many of those agendas little to do with Joe Cronin keeping his job (unless that source is Cronin himself).

I would love for you to tell me I’m wrong, and that the Blazers are really going to try and build something around Dame. But it feels like this era is coming to an end. Say it ain’t so! Tell me I’m wrong!

Chris C.

I love the way this question was written. (Side Note: As you can see, I edit down most questions to 3-4 sentences. Many of them come in like this originally, albeit not quite as well-framed.) I’m looking forward to reading your responses!

If you have your own Portland Trail Blazers question, send it in to blazersub@gmail.com! I’ll be back answering them personally soon!