They got rid of a bad contract situation with Allen Crabbe, but the Portland Trail Blazers should continue to make moves.
Sources confirmed to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the Portland Trail Blazers traded Allen Crabbe to the Brooklyn Nets for Andrew Nicholson, who was then waived by Portland. As TBN’s own Zach Cronin touched on, this was a clear salary dump by the team in the Pacific Northwest.
After the Nets had presented Crabbe a $75 million dollar offer sheet to pry him from the Blazers last offseason (which Portland matched), it was evident he was in their cross hairs. That said, the vote of confidence demonstrated by the Blazers last year for the three-point specialist didn’t last, but that’s okay looking forward. They need to get more scoring, particularly on the wing, to go with their dazzling backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
The Blazers have an intriguing roster that is beginning to take shape. Draft picks Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan are nice pieces for the future outlook of the franchise, but it’s hard to see them consistently playing huge minutes.
Portland does have promising big Jusuf Nurkic to round out the front line, but they desperately need a guy who can score in bunches to help out Lillard and McCollum in vital stretches. That might come from the Blazers moving young pieces, and it might have to be someone like Collins, Swanigan or at least Meyers Leonard.
Obviously, there are the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors. Will Melo waive the no-trade clause to come to Portland? He has previously said he would not do so, but the Anthony situation is fluid anyhow. With Portland now saving $50 million in total projected salary and tax penalties (per HoopsRumors), you have to think he’d be able to come around to the idea at least. That would make for quite a contender, even in the packed Western Conference.
Melo will be a hard acquisition, nonetheless. Looking into the near future, though, Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey needs to figure out something to keep his young guns happy. Dame expressed how he believes star players owe teammates and fans the truth, when asked about the current Kyrie Irving trade talk, per CBS Sports Radio.
You have to like that Dame is being honest about stars leaving franchises high-and-dry, but it also means the Blazers need to accelerate their time table a bit. The way Portland’s constructed their roster isn’t terrible, but in the West, you need a heck of a lot to be a viable contender.
The Oklahoma City Thunder got the memo and added a star player, Paul George, to complement Russell Westbrook, and the Blazers need to show urgency sooner than later. This Kyrie situation virtually came out of nowhere, and that happened with a team that has LeBron James.
In 2017 and beyond, nobody’s safe from stars leaving. Portland fans: be on high alert if your team waits too long. Stars don’t like being eight-seeds that long.
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