Portland Trail Blazers: A Team in Need
By Watson Rowe, Published February 21st, 2018
I was recently asked a 2 interesting questions about the Portland Trail Blazers:
1. What’s stopping the Trail Blazers from being a Championship team?
2. What do they need or lacking?
After some much careful thought and analysis of what I’ve seen, here is the conclusion I came to. Please feel free to comment any corrections or any additional thoughts you may have.
The Trail Blazers need to avoid the injury big for starters. It seems that anytime the Trail Blazers get something good going, someone gets hurt (examples being Greg Oden and Brandon Roy and currently Noah Vonleh.).
The injury bug has hit them quite hard in recent years, hindering their chances at a strong and deep playoff run.
I am fully aware that this team needs depth but in reality they need VETERAN DEPTH. As of now they’re still developing the young talent.
Rookies Caleb Swanigan and Zach Collins, if given TRUE VETERAN LEADERSHIP, will thrive in Coach Stotts’ system. Get Vonleh healthy and he will improve by leaps and bounds under Stotts.
Additionally, they need to resolve the issues with the back court. Lillard and McCollum is as productive of any top tier 1-2 duo in the league from an offensive standpoint but it’s lacking the defensive tenacity to truly be DYNAMIC.
Therefore I suggest that the Trail Blazers trade at least ONE of them (McCollum in my opinion), if not both, to look to build a better 2 way unit.
Finally, the Trail Blazers need to start making smarter fiduciary decisions and get rid of these cap eating contracts. Players like Meyers Leonard and Evan Turner are taking up the necessary cap space needed for the Trail Blazers to make big moves in the off season.
For example, Carmelo Anthony was rumored to be considering Portland as a team of interest this last off-season. However due to the number of unnecessarily overpaid players under contract in Portland, it was nothing more than a wasted dream.
No top player wants to go where they can’t get paid. Dump these cap space eating contracts so you can actively pursue more big name free agents in the off season.
I personally believe that if the Trail Blazers make these changes, their patience and intelligence in the front office, and the play on the court as a whole will eventually be fruitful.
Soon the franchise will be on the cusp of a deep playoff run, one that fans may hope will result in a NBA Finals berth. And even possibly, the ever so coveted NBA Title.