Another first round exit for the Portland Trail Blazers. That’s unfortunate. Losing to a Denver Nuggets roster missing their second best player is not the way that Portland wanted to go out. Damian Lillard definitely didn’t want to lose. Over the six games, he averaged 34 points and 10 assists while shooting 45% from three. His 12 3PM performance in Game 5 was insane (I’m still mad that the game wasn’t on national TV), and I can’t believe his teammates lost the game for him.
So now it’s time for the Blazers to make some serious changes. Parting ways with Terry Stotts is a good start, but the roster also needs some changes.
To start, Portland needs multiple good 3&D forwards. They struggle a lot on defense. They need guys that can guard the LeBrons and the KDs of the league. Robert Covington is good, but his inconsistency on offense makes him replaceable.
The dream pickup is Jerami Grant. Not only is Jerami another scorer who can take pressure off Dame and CJ, he’s also a good defender. As a borderline All-Star player who can still improve, he has decently high trade value, but I think Portland could pull off a deal. The trade would probably look something like this:
Portland gets: Jerami Grant
Detroit gets: Robert Covington, Zach Collins, 2023 1st Round Pick unprotected, 2025 1st Round Pick lottery protected
The big piece here is Zach Collins. He’s a former lottery pick who can stretch the floor and rebound the basketball. He’ll struggle to grow if he stays in Portland, but in Detroit he could move in as the starting four. Robert Covington is just to match salaries.
I don’t really know what Detroit would want for Jerami Grant, but I feel like that’s a solid trade.
If Jerami Grant wasn’t available, two other players I think would be great for the Blazers are Kelly Oubre and Harrison Barnes. A trade for either of those guys would involve Derrick Jones and a pick of some kind.
Another thing Portland could use is a rim protecting center. Myles Turner is the dream pickup, but I’m not sure if Indiana would be interested in Jusuf Nurkic.
The main thing Portland has to consider is trading C.J. McCollum. I don’t think it’s necessary, but he has some good trade value and Portland could get a really good player for him. I just don’t know who that player would be.
C.J. also might need to go if Portland wants to re-sign Norman Powell. Norman is really good, and if Portland plans to have him come off the bench he might decide to sign elsewhere.
In the end, Portland needs to go all in on winning as long as Damian Lillard is on the roster. If they can’t become contenders, Dame might leave. Portland fans don’t want to see that, and neither do I. So please, Neil Olshey and the Blazers organization, do a good job this offseason.
So, this was a messy article, but so is the situation Portland is in. Do you agree that they should go all in on winning, or do you think they should trade Dame and rebuild? Let me know on the new Bench Mob Blog Twitter! Thanks for reading, and see you next time!