Sunday, 23 Jun 2024

30 Teams in 30 Days: Blazers align long-term help beside cornerstone Damian Lillard

The Portland Trail Blazers are gearing up for the new season, and they have made some significant additions to their roster. After a disappointing 2021-22 season, the Blazers are looking to provide long-term support for their star player, Damian Lillard. In this article, we will explore the key additions and subtractions from the team, as well as their plans for the upcoming season.

A Season of Change

Last season was a tumultuous one for the Blazers. They made the difficult decision to fire GM Neil Olshey and traded CJ McCollum, two important figures in the team’s recent history. Additionally, Damian Lillard had a subpar year due to injuries, playing only 29 games before being shut down. It was clear that changes were needed, and the Blazers made significant roster moves during the season, essentially using it as a trial period for the future.

Building for the Future

The Blazers had a choice: start from scratch or make adjustments to their current roster. They chose the latter, believing that Damian Lillard is still a player worth building around. Despite being a smaller guard who primarily impacts games with his shooting, the Blazers are confident that Lillard can perform at an elite level for years to come. They extended Lillard’s contract by two years, securing his services and making him the centerpiece of their championship aspirations.

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Key Additions

The Blazers made some notable additions to their roster during the offseason. They traded for Jerami Grant, a versatile player whose skill set fits well in today’s game. Grant has shown tremendous growth as a scorer and has become a more reliable three-point shooter in recent seasons. The Blazers believe that he will be a valuable complement to Lillard on the court. Additionally, they signed Gary Payton II in free agency, adding a defensive stopper and key reserve to their roster. Payton had a solid run with the champion Warriors and is expected to contribute significantly in Portland.

A Bright Future

The Blazers have set their sights on the future and have taken steps to ensure long-term success. They have extended the contracts of key players like Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic, securing their services for the foreseeable future. Simons, in particular, showed great potential last season, stepping up when Lillard was injured and proving himself as a capable scorer. The Blazers also made a promising draft pick in Shaedon Sharpe, a talented shooting guard who skipped college to declare for the draft. Sharpe’s potential adds to the optimism surrounding the team.

FAQs

Q: Who are the key additions to the Portland Trail Blazers roster?
A: The Blazers made significant additions to their roster, including Jerami Grant and Gary Payton II. Grant brings versatility and scoring ability, while Payton adds defensive prowess and depth to the team.

Q: How did the Blazers address their roster needs during the offseason?
A: The Blazers extended the contracts of key players like Anfernee Simons and Jusuf Nurkic, securing their services. They also made a promising draft pick in Shaedon Sharpe, adding young talent to their roster.

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Q: What are the Blazers’ expectations for the upcoming season?
A: The Blazers are aiming to build a championship contender around Damian Lillard. They have made strategic moves to surround him with the right pieces and believe that he can lead them to success.

Summary

The Portland Trail Blazers have made significant changes to their roster in preparation for the upcoming season. With Damian Lillard as their cornerstone, they have added key players like Jerami Grant and Gary Payton II to provide long-term support. The team believes in Lillard’s ability to lead them to success and has secured his services for the future. With a mix of experienced players and promising young talent, the Blazers are poised to make a strong push for the playoffs. Fans can expect an exciting and competitive season ahead.


Shaun Powell has been covering the NBA for over 25 years. You can find his archive here and follow him on Twitter here. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs, or Turner Broadcasting.