The game ended and then the season ended. And just like that, it was over for the Portland Trailblazers.
The Blazers which we’ve come to know and enjoy can’t return next season with the same roster makeup and schemes they’ve used the last couple of years.
Playing on their homecourt and facing elimination, “RIP City” wilted under the pressure and lost. The Nuggets minus their star guard Jamal Murray ousted the Blazers in six games.
The loss even had Center Jusuf Nurkic saying, “I don’t know what the future holds for me and my team.”
If you ask me, the future for Portland is in shambles.
That’s sort of what any self-respecting organization stuck in a perpetual and ineffective spin would do. Fire the coach. Dump the general manager.
Tear up the roster sheet and start over. Outside of Dame D.O.L.L.A there isn’t a player in uniform who should be untouchable this summer.
And yes that includes Lillard’s sidekick CJ McCollum, who unless he’s making shots just doesn’t help the team much. But we all know the Blazers have long overvalued marginal talent for the last decade.
If I’m the next GM, assuming they rid of the current one I keep Lillard, re-sign Robert Covington and also re-sign unrestricted free agent Norman Powell.
The rest of the roster should be used as trade bait. Also, it’s time to move on from head coach Terry Stotts whose message seems to have gone stale in the Pacific Northwest.
In all fairness I don’t know who could’ve migrated with the broken roster that Stotts was dealt by general manager Neil Olshey, so he and Stotts need to both go.
At best the Blazers are stuck in the middle of the Western Conference. Good enough to be a No.6 seed, but nowhere near dangerous enough to beat Denver, Utah, Phoenix or even Dallas.
The Clippers and Lakers will reinvent and reinvigorate themselves next season without a local debate and be back in contention next season. Golden State will be vastly improved as well.
It’s time to get some help for Lillard who’s due $140 million over the next three seasons. That means ridding of everything not named, Lillard, Covington or Powell, as you can never have enough quality “3 and D” guys in today’s NBA.
One will ask, why isn’t McCollum someone who should be untouchable? Because he’s a complimentary piece who the GM paid way too much for what he brings outside of scoring.
So take out the dynamite, light the fuse and get as far away as you can from the blast. The franchise rebuild should’ve begun taking place a year ago. Don’t wait another minute, scratch this blueprint as this summer feels urgent and actually it hasn’t officially begun yet.