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Far-Fetched Friday: The Portland Trail Blazers Don’t Make Major Roster Changes
By: Ryan Stein
Few teams have been as consistently good as the Portland Trail Blazers have been over the past decade. Star point guard Damian Lillard has carried the team to respectability every season he's been in the league. Unfortunately, the team as currently constructed has clearly reached its ceiling.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we look at the man with the biggest calves in football.
CJ McCollum, while being a well above-average player, is better suited as a third-best offensive option on a championship team, as opposed to his current role as the Robin to Dame's Batman. The rest of the roster is full of solid role players, but not enough difference makers to be a true threat in the Western Conference.
Despite the purgatory the Blazers seem to be in, I expect they will largely return the same roster next season, with the main change being a new head coach.
If Portland was able to trade for a star of higher caliber than McCollum, the team's ceiling would raise dramatically. Lillard's heroic efforts are impressive, but having him shoulder such an enormous load every game takes its toll. Having a second true star would alleviate a good amount of that burden, and give the team a more dynamic set of winning conditions besides just having Lillard take over all the time.
Dame is 30 years-old, which means the clock is ticking for him to lead a championship-caliber team as its best player. Barring unforeseen events taking place, the Blazers will use the "new head coach" excuse as a reason to not restructure the severely flawed roster. If the Blazers aren't able to make significant improvements soon (which I don't expect to happen, at least not this season), it would not at all be surprising to see the team's star point guard seek greener pastures.
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