3. Portland Trail Blazers
The ticking time bomb within the Portland Trail Blazers’ organization seems to be ready to go off.
Damian Lillard appears disgruntled, and the superstar is putting major pressure on the Blazers’ front office to build a contender. Lillard considers this to be Portland’s “most important” offseason of his tenure and he doesn’t “have much of an appetite for building with guys two or three years away.”
The Blazers find themselves with two options:
1. Appease Lillard
2. Trade him and continue to build a young core.
Lillard has been open about his desire for Portland to trade their upcoming draft pick (with the exception of a potential Victor Wembanyama selection). The Blazers could theoretically trade that pick for some potential “needle movers” to shore up the roster.
If that single pick isn’t enough to make a solid move, the Blazers also own the Knicks’ first-round pick.
With solid draft capital and the ability to make some free-agency splashes, continuing to build around Lillard could work.
But that begs the question: how much of a contender would that actually make the Blazers?
This brings us to option two.
The Blazers have a solid, young group of players. Both Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe look like potential future all-stars. The team has the aforementioned solid draft capital and with a Lillard trade, could add even more.
The prospect of stockpiling picks like the Thunder and the Pelicans could be enticing for the Blazers’ front office.
Both options have their perks. But only one option can be selected, and this could be one of the biggest decisions in franchise history.
The Blazers better make the right call.