The Portland Trail Blazers are stepping into the unknown as they explore ways to trade Damian Lillard.
The team has bright spots towards its future with Shaedon Sharpe and Scoot Henderson, but the rest of the picture remains to be seen.
That’s why Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey slotted the Blazers at No. 28 in his NBA future power rankings, which dictate how well each team will perform over the next three seasons.
They’ve won 60 games over the last two seasons, and seemingly everyone on the roster seems overextended into a role he’s not quite suited for. Anfernee Simons should maybe be a heat-check scorer off the bench. Jusuf Nurkić may be a reserve at this point of his career. And Jerami Grant is probably more useful as a fourth or fifth option than he is as a second or third.
On the bright side, this summer’s No. 3 pick, Scoot Henderson, appears to have legitimate star potential. And if he develops into the kind of dynamic playmaker who makes everyone around him better, Portland could eventually contend. But that feels more like five or six years away than three.
Portland’s future will be defined by how it navigates the Lillard trade. Get a good haul, and the Blazers should be higher on the list by 2026. However, if Joe Cronin and the front office fumbles, it could lead to a dark era for the Blazers moving forward.