2017 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: 41-41)

2017-18 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Jusuf Nurkic/Ed Davis/Meyers Leonard

PF: Noah Vonleh/Al-Farouq Aminu/

SF: Maurice Harkless/Evan Turner/Jake Layman

SG: C.J. McCollum/Allen Crabbe/*Pat Connaughton

PG: Damian Lillard/Shabazz Napier

NBA Free Agents:

*C-Festus Ezeli (TO)

*G/F-Pat Connaughton (TO)

G-Tim Quarterman (UFA)

2017-18 Team Salary: Approximately $137.3 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Zero Cap Space: Last summer, Portland committed approximately $222 million to Evan Turner, Allen Crabbe, Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard, which ultimately ruins the club’s future cap space and flexibility in free agency. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Trail Blazers try to shop at least one of those guys in attempt to clear some salary.

2. Draft Options: The Trail Blazers have three first-round picks – No. 15, 20, 26 -, but I would be surprised if they kept all of them. Expect them to try to sell a pick or possibly package the picks to move up. Portland could also try to combine a pick with a contract to clear space as mentioned above.

3. Frontcourt Depth: Outside of Nurkic, who was acquired prior to the trade deadline, none of Portland’s other options up front added much value last year. The Nuggets are likely to part ways with Festus Ezeli, so they could use an upgrade in frontcourt talent to bring off the bench.

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