The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off an extremely disappointing 2021-22 NBA season.
Not only did they fail to make the playoffs altogether, but the front office spent the entirety of the season fending off trade speculation surrounding team star Damian Lillard.
Heading into the offseason, everyone had one big question: how do the Blazers intend to improve?
This week, an answer emerged.
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Blazers don’t have their eye on disgruntled Phoenix Suns big man Deandre Ayton. The prefer to retain Jusuf Nurkic in free agency and let Ayton go to one of the other 4 NBA teams that want him.
Portland, meanwhile, has its sights set on two other big names: OG Anunoby of the Toronto Raptors and Lu Dort of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“[The Blazers] are prioritizing Toronto Raptors swingman OG Anunoby in any return for the No. 7 pick in next week’s draft, sources said. But there has been increasing talk about Portland potentially targeting the seventh selection to Oklahoma City for No. 12 and a package that could include Lu Dort,” Fischer wrote.
While both Anunoby and Dort are solid players, they’re hardly gamechangers. And after dumping C.J. McCollum last season, it’s hard to see how a group featuring Lillard and either one of those guys would be better than what the Blazers had with McCollum.
Lillard has already made it clear he is willing to accept a trade from the Blazers under one condition. Moreover, there are 3 teams circling the waters right now just waiting for their chance to pounce on a deal for him.
Portland needs to put Lillard in a winning situation fast – or the franchise will lose him forever.
A-Rod and his girl continue to impress. https://t.co/E1YjgvqQMk
— Game 7 (@game7__) June 21, 2022
Are the aforementioned moves involving Anunoby and/or Dort really all that meaningful?
They don’t seem like it. Not on paper, at least.
How will this entire situation ultimately shake out for the Blazers?
Time will tell.
Jennifer Withers Hoey is a former Business Development Manager who transitioned to writing about sports. With valuable connections all over the West Coast, she has used those contacts to break some of the most interesting stories pertaining to the Portland Trail Blazers, Oregon Ducks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Seattle Supersonics (RIP), and more.