Morning Recap: Another Year, Same Old Trail Blazers

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Death, taxes and the Trail Blazers being solid, but nowhere near contending.

This is part of the yearly NBA routine. The Blazers, led by the all-star point guard, Damian Lillard, and marginal all-star, CJ McCollum are always in the thick of the western conference playoff picture. And for the past five seasons, they’ve made the playoffs. However, once you look beyond the accomplishment of making it to late April, you realize Portland hasn’t won a postseason game the past two seasons and has only made it to the second round twice out of the past five seasons. Their two second-round appearances resulted in a combined two wins.


Anyway, you might be wondering why the Blazers don’t go after a third all-star to pair with Lillard and McCollum. Well, they also happen to have zero cap space. But who needs cap space when you have potential ridden players in Evan Turner, Maurice Harkless, and Meyers Leonard signed for a combined 41.3 million this season? Right?

I would say the worst thing about these expiring contracts aren’t that the players are overpaid (even though they are), but that they are all vital to Portlands depth. So even if you found some vendors (very unlikely) to take on their contracts, it would severely cripple your depth. Then, you’re left with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum leading a below-average team, hoping another all-star will decide to bypass Los Angeles and New York for a below-average team located in Portland. And I hate to break it to you Blazers fans, but you are not getting an all-star via free agency. This leaves one viable option:

TANK SEASON!

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Yes, I think it’s time to give up on the Lillard-McCollum backcourt dream. However, I don’t necessarily think you have to trade both. Ideally, you can hold on to Lillard and find some draft picks and/or young talent in exchange for McCollum. This would allow you to hold on to one all-star but your team would still be bad enough for a solid draft pick. Obviously, the first team that comes to mind is the Lakers. If the Lakers truly think they are going to land a big-name free agent this summer, McCollum could be a great third-piece to a Big Three. But if they aren’t sold on CJ, there are other options in Charlotte and possibly even New Orleans. And if all else fails and Portland must fully commit to a rebuild, there would be one hell of a market for Lillard. Once again, the first team that comes to mind is the Lakers. LeBron is always game to add more shot-creators and Lillard is one of the best shot-creating point guards in the league.

However, despite the blatantly obvious evidence that this roster has no chance at a run at the chip, Portland will likely remain mediocre for the near future until

Scores

Suns- 86, Spurs- 111

Trail Blazers- 103, Rockets- 111

Raptors- 123, Clippers- 99

Wednesday’s Games

Pistons @ Hornets (Prediction: Pistons win)

Knicks @ Cavaliers (Prediction: Knicks win)

Bucks @ Pacers (Prediction: Bucks win)

Nets @ 76ers (Prediction: 76ers win)

Celtics @ Wizards (Prediction: Celtics win)

Trail Blazers @ Grizzlies (Prediction: Grizzlies win)

Thunder @ Pelicans (Prediction: Pelicans win)

Hawks @ Mavericks (Prediction: Mavericks win)

Heat @ Jazz (Prediction: Jazz win)

Timberwolves @ Kings (Prediction: Kings win)

Raptors @ Warriors (Prediction: Warriors win)

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