The Trailblazers have had a bizarre start to the off-season. Will they make the playoffs next year?
The Portland Trailblazers Are Mid
Since the dawn of time and the departures of Clyde Drexler and Bill Walton, the Portland Trailblazers have been perpetually mid. They have had a few decent runs here and there led by Damian Lillard and company, but no sustained success. Outside of Lillard, they have also had no real star power. CJ McCollum was tremendous but never an all-star, Brandon Roy had too many injuries, and you drafted Greg Oden over Kevin Durant. Granted, Oden’s failure is more due to injuries, but over the greatest scorer of all time?
But the worst part has to be due to the franchise’s ownership. They have refused to go out and ever make a big splash for a talent that would seriously help this team. Instead, they constantly acquire solid role players in hopes that they will suddenly be great with just one star. But they also don’t fully commit to being a bad team either. They don’t want to win a championship, but they also don’t go out and get the first overall pick, it’s baffling.
So Why Is This Coming Up Now?
Well, Thursday night was the NBA draft. The Trailblazers held the seventh overall pick and selected Shaedon Sharpe, a guard out of Kentucky. This guy hasn’t played organized basketball in over a year in front of decision-makers, but that isn’t even the worst part. There were far bigger holes you could have filled with the pick instead of drafting another guard. Jalen Duren would have been great for your defensively lacking team, and you could have traded or made an aging Jusuf Nurkic your bench guy. But when you already have Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons, there is no reason to have drafted another guard. Let alone a high-risk one.
They also made a trade about a day before the draft. Jerami Grant, a forward from the Detroit Pistons, was being sent to Portland in exchange for a 2025 first-round pick. This clearly shows that they want to win, except they acquired Grant. Grant is a very solid player, don’t get me wrong, but he is not the guy a win-now team goes out and trades for. OG Anunoby, who is far younger and a way better defender, was also rumored to be available for trade. They went for the most mediocre Portland Trailblazers move possible.
So, What Are They Going To Do Now?
Well, the Portland Trailblazers have been rumored to be looking into making a splash during free agency. The most commonly attached name is Bradley Beal. Beal is an elite two-guard who can score at will and get hot quickly when healthy. That is his issue; he is significantly injury-prone. But he is also excellent when he plays. But should they make this move? Absolutely not. They already had Anfernee Simons and have now drafted Shaedon Sharp, a two-guard who’d supposedly either run small forward or start on the bench.
This will end horribly for the Trailblazers and their fans. Lillard is an exceptional player and scorer, but he can’t indeed lead a team past maybe the conference finals if you get lucky. Let alone with Jerami Grant as his second option. If I’m the Trailblazers front office, I send Lillard to Denver or the Lakers for a massive haul while I still can, and he is too old to have any trade value. He is a great player, but his talents are wasted in Portland, and it’s all thanks to the front office and them being incredibly stingy.