Threading the Needle
Joe Cronin has his work cut out for him this summer.
The next three weeks will set the course for the next five years of Portland Trail Blazers basketball, for better or worse.
Joe Cronin has gotten a lot of benefit of the doubt since he took over as the Blazers' general manager in December, both because the guy he replaced was extremely unpopular and because it was widely understood that a big part of his job in the first months would be digging out of the hole his predecessor had left the team in.
The deadline-week trades of Robert Covington, Norman Powell and CJ McCollum didn't look great at the time and look even worse now, after McCollum led New Orleans to a surprise playoff appearance that cost Cronin a second lottery pick. None of the swings he took to create more flexibility to retool around Damian Lillard panned out the way he'd hoped, but he's asking you to reserve judgment until he has time to execute the second half of his plan.
That part starts now.