Trade update I: Acquired No. 31 pick Allen Crabbe from Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for two future second-round picks.
Trade update II: Traded No. 40 pick Grant Jerrett to Oklahoma City for cash considerations.
Areas of Strength
The Blazers have foundations set at power forward with veteran LaMarcus Aldridge and now at point guard with Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, plus a quality shooter in Wesley Matthews who's locked up at a reasonable rate for the next two seasons. Injuries, particularly late in the season, decimated the team in coach Terry Stotts' first year. The Blazers flirted with a playoff spot for much of the season until the late swoon.
The world is seeing why Portland put a big offer sheet in front of Pacers center Roy Hibbert last offseason (the Pacers matched and kept him). The Blazers made due with undersized J.J. Hickson at center, but he could be lost in free agency. Last year's 11th overall pick, Meyers Leonard, could move in as a starter, but they'll still need reinforcement, as the Blazers do on what was arguably the weakest bench in the league.
Two Stats That Matter
3 -- Number of starters that finished in the top 10 in the league in minutes played (Damian Lillard, 38.6 mpg; Nicolas Batum, 38.5; LaMarcus Aldridge, 37.7). No other team had two starters finish in the top 10.
42.9% -- Damian Lillard averaged a rookie-best 19.0 ppg despite the relatively low field-goal percentage. At Weber State, Lillard didn't shoot better than 43.8 percent in his final three seasons, topping out at 46.7 percent as a freshman.
The Way To Go
The Blazers have some nice wiggle room under the cap to go free-agent shopping this summer, but a wise selection with No. 10 pick (from Charlotte) will help continue building from the ground up with young and inexpensive talent.
2012-13 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 102.7 (16th)
Defensive: 106.9 (26th)
F: LaMarcus Aldridge
F: Nicolas Batum
G: Wesley Matthews
G: Damian Lillard
G: Will Barton
F: Joel Freeland
C: Meyers Leonard
F: Victor Claver
G/F: Sasha Pavlovic (non-guaranteed)
G: Eric Maynor (restricted)
F/C: J.J. Hickson
F: Luke Babbitt
G: Elliot Williams
G: Nolan Smith
Recent Draft History
2012: Damian Lillard (6), Meyers Leonard (11), Will Barton (40), Tyshawn Taylor (41)
2011: Nolan Smith (21), Jon Diebler (51)
2010: Elliott Williams (22), Armon Johnson (34)
2009: Victor Claver (22), Dante Cunningham (33), Jon Brockman (38), Patrick Mills (55)
2008: Brandon Rush (13), Joey Dorsey (33), Omer Asik (36), Mike Taylor (55)
2007: Greg Oden (1), Josh McRoberts (37), Derrick Byars (42), Taureen Green (52), Demetrius Nichols (53)
2006: Tyrus Thomas (4), Joel Freeland (30), James White (31)
-- Jeff Caplan