Portland Trail Blazers
2021 Draft Picks:
The Blazers spent another year of Damian Lillard’s prime coming up short of the ultimate goal, something that has eluded Lillard in his nine-year career. It was particularly painful to lose in the playoffs to the Nuggets, a result that cost coach Terry Stotts his job and exposed the Blazers’ defensive weaknesses. Over the last few years, while Lillard and CJ McCollum commanded much of the salary cap, the Blazers tried to restock the team with incoming talent from low Draft picks and affordable players to no avail. This is a win-now team because of Lillard, so Portland’s most logical path to improve will come through trades in order to get veteran help as coach Chauncey Billups prepares for his first season.
114.8 — The Blazers have had the league’s worst defense over the past two seasons, allowing 114.8 points per 100 possessions.
The Blazers don’t have any selections in the first or second round, unless they swing a deal that fetches a Draft pick. It’s hard to imagine the Blazers trading into the first round because of the possible cost of doing business; more likely, they’ll grab a second rounder on the night of the draft. If so, they should think defense and versatility first. A game name is Isaiah Todd, a 6-foot-10 forward who spent last season in the G League. But again, it’s possible the Draft comes and goes without Portland’s participation.
G: Damian Lillard
G: CJ McCollum
G: Anfernee Simons
F: CJ Elleby
F: Nassir Little
F: Robert Covington
C: Jusuf Nurkic
G: Keljin Blevins (restricted)
G: Norman Powell (player option)
F: Carmelo Anthony (unrestricted)
F: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (unrestricted)
F: Derrick Jones Jr. (player option)
F: T.J. Leaf (restricted)
F/C: Zach Collins (restricted)
F/C: Harry Giles III (unrestricted)
C: Enes Kanter (unrestricted)
> 2021 Free Agent Tracker
2020: CJ Elleby (46)
— by Shaun Powell