It’s been a few days since the Portland Trail Blazers were eliminated from the Western Conference Finals by the defending champions, Golden State Warriors. It came and went in sweeping fashion, the Warriors defeated the Blazers 4-0, which makes the Blazers 12-1 against them in their last three playoff series.
Defeat can be tough for the organization and the fans. Even though the Blazers were unable to secure one win against the Warriors in these Western Conference Finals, this was certainly still a successful season and postseason for the Trail Blazers. The Blazers made history by advancing to their first Western Conference Finals in 19 years.
The next day, after being defeated by the Warriors, the Blazers and the front office staff conducted their annual exit interviews. Coming off of a four-game sweep the players, coaches and front office were proud of their overall performance in this year's postseason. “Everybody preserved, everybody played their role, all year long, everybody had their moment to show that they could help this team like I said this is a special team.” Blazer guard Seth Curry said about the Blazers season.
Now that this season has come to an end a number of questions arrive at the front door of the Blazers organization. Curry himself is facing free agency this offseason. After playing a limited role throughout the year it’s widely expected that Curry’s days in Rip City have passed. Enes Kanter, Rodney Hood, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Jake Layman are all set to become free agents this coming offseason. With limited resources to retain these players the team that went to the Western Conference Finals this year could look much different come November.
That doesn’t stop team captain, franchise player and now 4x All-NBA award winner Damian Lillard from being encouraged going into next season. “I’m definitely encouraged, you know, I think we have a lot to build on, a lot to move forward from here.” Following the Blazers postseason exit, it was reported by Yahoo Sports, Chris Haynes that Lillard is expected to agree to a four-year $191 million supermax contract extension following his All-NBA selection. President of Basketball Operations, Neil Olshey said when asked, “obviously [Damian] is our main priority”.
Similarly, it was announced that Trail Blazers Head Coach, Terry Stotts had reached an agreement of his own on a multi-year extension. According to a press release from the Trail Blazers, Terry Stotts will now be under contract through the 2021-2022 season.
There are once again questions about the Trail Blazers future going forward, all of these questions have to do with the role players brought in to help this team win. The question everyone seemed to be asking last year was whether this team (as constructed) could make a deep playoff run, have seemingly been put to rest (for now).
As the offseason approaches, we will be looking for answers to the next wave of questions. Who can you add to improve this team? What can the Blazers do to improve this team?
There are plenty of ideas us fans have as to what the right move is this offseason. The first glimpse into Olshey’s idea might come during this years NBA draft where historically the Blazers have been aggressive in making moves. Following the draft, free agency will begin at 6pm June 30th. The NBA made this change this year, it was previously midnight July first.
What are your ideas for the Blazers this offseason?
Comment below what or who you’d like to see the Blazers pursue this offseason.