NBA Trade Rumors: Blazers are going to traded their projected top 5 draft pick?

Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard (Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports)
Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard (Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Trade Rumors: A recent report suggests that the Portland Trail Blazers are likely going to trade their projected top 5 draft pick.

When the Portland Trail Blazers began to retool their roster last season, I don’t think the plan was ever to miss the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Nevertheless, that’s what transpired this season and the Blazers are likely going to be heading back to the drawing board. This time around, there is more at stake for the Blazers to get things right.

Damian Lillard has already been on record saying that he does not want to wait around for another 1-2 years for young players to develop. He’s going to be 33 years old by the time next season begins and he wants to be more than just a lottery team. In other words, he wants to see the Blazers make some big win-now moves heading into the offseason.

It’ll be interesting to see if the pressure that Lillard is theoretically placing on the front office to make moves results in anything significant this offseason. And there are whispers that it may. According to a recent report (subscription required), it’s becoming more and more likely that the Blazers are going to trade their projected top 5 draft pick – unless, of course, if Portland ends up winning the lottery.

The Portland Trail Blazers need to choose a path

Heading into the offseason, one thing is clear – the Blazers need to pick a way forward. Are they going to try to surround Lillard with talent that can win now or are they going to enter a rebuild? Quite honestly, it won’t be an easy decision. On one hand, the Blazers should want to appease Lillard. He’s been loyal to them and it would be strange if they didn’t feel at least some pressure to be loyal to him.

And the Blazers have some nice young talent already on the roster that another projected top 5 draft pick would give this team a solid young foundation to move forward. Even more so if they do end up trading Lillard for what would likely be a boatload of additional assets.

I get the sense that the best way forward for the Blazers may be to trade Lillard this offseason. The question is, do the franchise’s decision-makers think similarly?

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The Blazers are one of the teams to keep a close eye on heading into the offseason. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to what they’re going to do this summer.