#57 - Trouble in Portland? - Op-Ed

#57 - Trouble in Portland? - Op-Ed

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone, and the Portland Trail Blazers were among the teams active during this period. Currently, the team is 28-30 and sitting as the 12th seed in the Western Conference, positioning them in the play-in race. Prior to the deadline, Blazers fans were hoping for a big move, particularly in adding defensive talent like OG Anunoby and Jarred Vanderbilt to support their superstar Damian Lillard, who is known for his offensive abilities. Unfortunately, the Blazers were unable to acquire either of these players.

To kick off the deadline, the Blazers traded Josh Hart to the New York Knicks and received Cam Reddish, Ryan Arcidiacono, Svi Mykhailiuk, and a lottery-protected first-round pick in the 2023 draft. While Reddish is a young player with potential, this move indicates that the Blazers front office may not be willing to go the extra mile to surround Lillard with the necessary talent.

The second move the Blazers made was acquiring Matisse Thybulle from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for a 2027 second-round pick. While Thybulle is an excellent perimeter defender, he has struggled offensively, limiting his playing time on the 76ers. While this trade makes more sense for the Blazers than the first one, it still may not be enough to push the team forward.

Finally, the Blazers traded Gary Payton II in a multi-team deal that ultimately saw him return to the Golden State Warriors. Although Payton II has barely played this season, the move has frustrated some Blazers fans who had been hoping to see more of him.

The Blazers' future is uncertain, and the trade deadline did not do them any favors. While they have a chance of making the play-in tournament, it is unlikely that they will progress further than the first round of the playoffs. Moving forward, the Blazers' management will need to figure out how to surround Lillard with the support he needs to take the team to the next level.

Contributor: Jacob Matthews (@jacob9302)

Editor: Josh Bhagratie (@jshyb_)

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