Portland Trail Blazers: Improbable 4 step plan to a win-now 2022 offseason

Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
Washington Wizards Bradley Beal (Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Bobby Portis
Bobby Portis (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) /

Step 2: Sign a difference-making forward/big man to the full mid-level exception

It’s important that this happens before steps three and four, which will almost certainly bring the team into the luxury tax. The non-taxpayer mid-level exception of 4 years, $43-plus million will net a much better player than the taxpayer midlevel of 3 years, under $20 million contract.

At this stage of the game plan, the Blazers theoretically have Lillard, Beal, and Hart on the roster, so a floor-stretching big man like Danilo Gallinari or Bobby Portis would make sense here, or a playmaking forward like Kyle Anderson, or even an older 3-and-D specialist like P.J. Tucker.

Even if the team doesn’t choose to use all of the midlevel on such a player, being able to pay more than the taxpayer midlevel makes all of this more plausible – and remember, this is an improbable four-step plan.