The Summer of 2023 has not gone exactly as Portland Trail Blazers fans planned. In the heady days of March and April, rumors swirled about Portland chasing major-league talent: Pascal Siakam, Mikal Bridges, or even Joel Embiid. The off-season started well, with the Blazers winning the third overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft and subsequently selecting Scoot Henderson. After that, the bottom fell out with no trades or new free agent signings coming down the pike and franchise superstar Damian Lillard requesting a trade.
Right now the team is in limbo, with Lillard still on the roster and no young players able to take the court yet, easing the pain via development and high-flying dunks.
Interpretations of events differ. Some applaud General Manager Joe Cronin for (seemingly) taking a tough stance on trade negotiations. Others condemn him for lack of moves prior to this, a few for not moving Lillard right away. Fans also point fingers at Dame himself, while some want to wash their hands of the whole thing. Meanwhile part of the population thinks that, even if it hurts now, this is a good and necessary step to the next iteration of greatness.
Any way you slice it, the franchise is in a funk. But how big? Is this a breaking point, changing the course for the next decade, or a bump that’ll be smoothed over once players actually suit up?
The question is open to you today. Help us put this in context. Where do these current events rank in the pantheon of disappointing Blazers developments? Are you disappointed with the team? If so, can you remember a time or times when you’ve been more disappointed? What were they? Does the Summer of 2023 rank first or is it the tiniest of blips on a very big radar?
Go ahead and weigh in, then peruse other answers in the comment section below.