There has been a lot of discussion around the NBA about what the Portland Trail Blazers would do following the firing of their general manager and president of basketball operations, Neil Olshey. The team has a lot of affairs to get in order and there have been a lot of stories and rumors swirling about what could happen next.
As currently constructed, the Trail Blazers are not title contenders. The team is dreadful defensively and their offense isn’t at the same elite level it has been to make up for it. As a result, the team is currently 11-15, losing four consecutive games.
A lot of those talks have surrounded the roster, namely Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Both are currently sidelined with injuries but as the centerpieces of the roster, they have garnered the most attention.
There were reports that Lillard wants to see the team make significant changes to the roster. Ben Simmons was one of the players mentioned that Lillard would like to team up with. Lillard’s group reportedly wanted to include McCollum in trade to obtain Simmons.
Interim general manager Joe Cronin noted that he has had constant communication with Lillard about the roster.
There is a lot to unpack here, as the future of the Trail Blazers could be hanging in the balance. A lot of that will be determined by what the team does with Lillard and McCollum. Based on what Cronin has said, they are remaining with the team for now.
Cronin said that he has had multiple long talks with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and they have been encouraged by the feedback that they have received from those talks.
Despite all of those articles being written, Lillard once again voiced his commitment to the Trail Blazers. He said he isn’t going to request a trade, which is what he has been saying since the offseason when trade rumors first began involving Lillard. Lillard reaffirmed his confidence in head coach Chauncey Billups, who came under fire recently as well.
Things are pretty messy with the Portland Trail Blazers right now and whoever is hired as the general manager full time will have a lot of work to do. They have a rookie head coach and the roster needs some reconstruction. There is a path to contention for the Trail Blazers, but there will be a lot of tough decisions to make in the coming weeks and months.