Trail Blazers' Low-Key Trade Deadline Ups the Pressure to Get it Right This Summer
For the second year in a row, Portland took a short-term step back to prioritize future flexibility.
TUALATIN, Ore. — For the second year in a row, the Trail Blazers are a less talented basketball team the day after the trade deadline than they were before it.
This time last year, the direction was clear: take a short-term step back while Damian Lillard spent the season recovering from a core muscle surgery, get a high draft pick, get off some bad contracts and reload for the second half of his prime.
This year, it's less of a straightforward plan, and it only ramps up the pressure that was already mounting for the front office to get it fully right this summer.