2015 Portland Trail Blazers

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Portland Blazers (Last Year: 51-31)

2015-16 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Chris Kaman/Meyers Leonard


SF: Nicolas Batum

SG: ^Arron Afflalo/C.J. McCollum/Allen Crabbe

PG: Damian Lillard/Steve Blake

NBA Free Agents:

PF-LaMarcus Aldridge (UFA)

SG-Wesley Matthews (UFA)

C-Robin Lopez (UFA)

SF-Dorell Wright (UFA)

PF-Joel Freeland (UFA)

SF-Alonzo Gee (UFA)

^SG-Arron Afflalo (PO)

2015-16 Team Salary: Approximately $32.5 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. LaMarcus: If the Trail Blazers are unable to re-sign LaMarcus Aldridge, it will set the franchise back quite a bit. Several major-market teams have the cap space to pursue the unrestricted free agent and are seen as more desirable destinations, but Portland can offer him a longer deal and more money than any other team, which makes the Portland the favorite to sign him this summer. If Aldridge leaves, it is unlikely the Trail Blazers can lure one of the other marquee free agent big men to the Pacific Northwest, so finding a capable replacement would be next to impossible.

2. Shooting Guard: With Wesley Matthews a free agent and Arron Afflalo likely to opt out of his deal, the Trail Blazers need to sure up their shooting guard position. Matthews has been a vital piece to Portland’s emergence as a contender out West, and the team should try to bring him back to Rip City as long as the price is right. If both guys end up signing elsewhere, the Trail Blazers must find a replacement via free agency.

3. Center: The third Portland starter who hits the open market this summer is Robin Lopez. While a serviceable big man, the Trail Blazers would be better served finding an upgrade in the middle if they can fit him under the cap.

4. Depth: Even if Portland is somehow able to re-sign Aldridge, Matthews and Lopez (or sign another capable starting center), the team still has depth concerns all across the roster that have been an issue for the past couple of seasons. Rounding out the Trail Blazers’ roster with affordable veterans who can provide a bench boost is a must for this team to take the next step in the Western Conference.

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