The Portland Trail Blazers’ front office came into the 2022-23 offseason with heavy expectations on how they would fulfill Damian Lillard’s requests for a competitive team in the near future. In considering CBS Sports columnist Colin Ward-Henninger’s analysis, they weren’t great when it came to plugging in the needed holes, but they were better than average. For that, they earned a “B” grade.
Here’s how Ward-Henninger quickly assessed the Blazers’ moves this summer:
Are the Blazers going to win the title this season? Probably not. Did they grant Lillard’s request and at least position themselves to be a playoff team next season? Safe? We have to see how the pieces fit, but Grant and Payton are solid additions to both sides of the floor, while Simons has shown incredible potential to replace CJ McCollum’s offensive output next to Lillard. Sharpe is a mystery box who could end up being the best player in the class or the answer to a bleak trivia question, but either way he’ll likely take some time to develop. The Blazers had some flexibility this offseason and did what they could to get back into contention. We’ll see how it works. Grade: B
The hope is that there’s more than meets the eye with this Blazers team, with a mixture of solid-yet-unspectacular talent around Lillard, and their younger talent being more potential than production at this juncture of their careers. All told, here’s the short list of additions and subtractions, as he brings out:
Key re-signings: Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simons, Jusuf Nurkic, Drew Eubanks
Key additions: Jerami Grant, Shaedon Sharpe, Gary Payton II, Jabari Walker
Key subtractions: Eric Bledsoe, Joe Ingles