November 8, 2020, 2:58 pm
Blazers interview with Jaden McDaniels — Ian Begley, November 16
Aleksej Pokusevski a first-round target for Blazers — Bleacher Report, October 29
Jay Scrubb has now had in-person workouts with the Blazers, Hornets and Clippers — Chris Grenham, October 26
JUCO star Jay Scrubb has had multiple interviews with Blazers — Bryan Kalbrosky, October 24
Free Agency Rumors
Rodney Hood opts out, will test free agency — Adrian Wojnarowski, November 17
Blazers made offer for Aaron Gordon before completing Robert Covington trade — Mitch Lawrence, November 16
Blazers expected to show interest in Paul Millsap — Kevin O’Connor, November 16
Mario Hezonja picks up player option for 2020-21 — Michael Scotto, November 16
Blazers among big group with interest in Serge Ibaka — Heavy.com, November 8
How’d We Get Here?
The Blazers made a surprise run to the Western Conference Finals without Jusuf Nurkic in 2018-19 but found the road much tougher this past season. Replacing Nurkic with Hassan Whiteside led to disastrous results, despite Whiteside’s gaudy box scores, and the Blazers looked like a lottery team up until the league stopped. At that point, the layoff was enough to get Nurkic back at full strength and the Blazers suddenly looked like a serious threat. They played like it in the bubble, leapfrogging multiple teams to get into the playoffs behind some inspired play from Damian Lillard.
The Blazers struck quickly to shore up their position of greatest need, snagging Robert Covington from the imploding Rockets in exchange for a pick and an older, inferior version of Covington in Trevor Ariza. It sets the table for Portland pushing its chips in a bit further, with a healthy Nurkic and a 3-and-D dynamo like RoCo taking the team to another level. In a perfect world, anyway. The Blazers rounded out their depth with other reasonable signings and look like a much more dangerous version of the Western Conference Finalist team they assembled a couple years ago.
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