2016 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 Trail Blazers (Last Year: 44-38)

2016-17 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Mason Plumlee/Ed Davis/Meyers Leonard

PF: Al-Farouq Aminu/Noah Vonleh/Cliff Alexander

SF: Maurice Harkless/Pat Connaughton

SG: C.J. McCollum/Allen Crabbe/Luis Montero

PG: Damian Lillard

NBA Free Agents:

SF-Maurice Harkless (RFA)

SG-Allen Crabbe (RFA)

C-Meyers Leonard (RFA)

SG-Gerald Henderson (UFA)

C-Chris Kaman (UFA)

PG-Brian Roberts (UFA)

2016-17 Team Salary: Approximately $54.4 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Frontcourt Scorer: The Trail Blazers relied heavily on their backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to shoulder the scoring load last season and need to find some help up front. Mason Plumlee and Ed Davis are limited offensively, and Noah Vonleh still isn’t ready to be a major contributor. If Portland can land a more experienced offensive-minded frontcourt player, it would definitely help diversify the team’s offensive attack.

2. Re-sign Restricteds?: Allen Crabbe, Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard were all solid contributors off the bench this past season with Harkless starting in all of Portland’s playoff games. Depending on the price, the Trail Blazers should look to extend Crabbe and Harkless, but I think Leonard is expendable if Portland can land a more-proven frontcourt option.

3. Backup Point Guard: Outside of Dame, Portland doesn’t have a true backup and relied on McCollum to slide over to the one at times, which he is capable of doing. Still, finding an affordable floor leader who can play 10-15 minutes a night would be wise.

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