After years of battling their way to relevancy, the Portland Trail Blazers are on the cusp of implosion. Even when the team was fully healthy, atrocious defense and poor chemistry on offense created a recipe for disaster and the team found themselves underachieving in a Western Conference full of opportunities.
Now, with only a few days to go until the NBA trade deadline, the Blazers have emerged as major sellers, and seemingly nobody but Lillard is safe from exile.
As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski put it on NBA Today, there's a good chance Portland's roster will look very different by Thursday afternoon.
“CJ McCollum and Portland, a couple of teams have been fairly aggressive in their pursuit — New Orleans, the New York Knicks,” Woj said. “McCollum has a lot of value around this league. You know what you’re getting with him. This is a player who adds a lot of maturity to any locker room he’s in. Certainly a dynamic offensive player. And so I think for Portland you saw them get off significant salary with the Norman Powell trade and moving Robert Covington out. So I think right now, they can wait and see what is the package that they would want to get back for McCollum. But they’re very much engaged in talks. I think by the end of the trade deadline it will be a very different looking Portland Trail Blazers roster.”
Blazers GM Joe Cronin already made his first move of the season by sending Robert Covington and Norman Powell to the Clippers for Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson, and a 2025 second-round draft pick.
While many fans scoffed at the trade, the deal was probably made to set up Portland for additional moves, which only further indicates a major reshaping of the roster.
Nevertheless, with all eyes focused on the summer, it will be interesting to see what Cronin has planned and whether or not Damian Lillard will be on board for what happens next.