After another failed attempt to break ground in the Western Conference playoff bracket, the Portland Trail Blazers are still figuring out how to make the most of Damian Lillard's talent.
The superstar point guard, who turned 31 in July, is nearing the back end of his prime and the Blazers don't seem much closer to winning a title than they were when he first arrived.
So far, in the 2021 offseason, Portland has been pretty quiet. Aside from a few, low-profile moves that did not move the needle, they have done little to actually shake things up.
In an article on Bleacher Report, however, Jake Fischer suggested a solution that could save their longer-term future.
"There has also been an intriguing CJ McCollum-Pascal Siakam trade framework discussed between Portland and Toronto, though talks between the teams have yet to generate significant momentum, sources said. Rival executives believe the Raptors' selection of Scottie Barnes seemingly reinforces Siakam's availability for trade."
In a follow-up piece, Greg Swartz outlined what the deal would look like:
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: PF Pascal Siakam
Toronto Raptors Receive: G Anfernee Simons, F Nassir Little, F Robert Covington, SF Derrick Jones Jr., 2022 first-round pick (top-10 protected), 2024 first-round pick (top-10 protected)
If the Blazers were planning on wowing Damian Lillard this offseason, signing Cody Zeller, Ben McLemore and Tony Snell won't get it done.Portland did re-sign Norman Powell to a five-year, $90 million deal, but even that just meant keeping one of its own. The Blazers lost Carmelo Anthony (13.4 PPG) and Enes Kanter (their best rebounder) in free agency as well.
Lillard, McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic form a pretty solid and capable core. Together, the three can find a lot of success in the NBA.
But is it enough to compete with the likes of the Lakers, Nets, Clippers, or Suns?
Adding Siakam would not only give Lillard a true secondary star, it would bolster their wing depth and boost their potential on the defensive end.
Of course, the Raptors have yet to actually make Siakam available, so nobody is sure if he'll be going anywhere this summer.
Whatever the case, the Blazers have to make a move soon, or they could find that their time with Dame has run out.