It has been a month since the offseason started and the Portland Trail Blazers have not made any significant signing which would boost their chance for the upcoming season. After two first-round exits, the Blazers were heavily criticised by fans and experts. After last season’s exit, even star player Damian Lillard criticised the franchise for their approach as he wanted them to show more urgency in the offseason,
However, nothing has changed for the Blazers in fact they have lost some important players. Carmelo Anthony has left the franchise and has joined Los Angeles Lakers whereas Enes Kanter has returned back to Boston Celtics. While GM Neil Olshey believes a head coaching change will propel the team as Championship contenders, Lillard does not agree. Dame Dolla has been in the news and several franchises are interested in the Blazers guard. Dame Lillard is known for his exceptional long-range shooting and his playmaking. He is also famous for loyalty but with the Blazers showing reluctance to improve in the offseason, there are high chances that Lillard may move out very soon.
New coach Chauncey Billups has joined the franchise but Lillard and CJ McCollum feels that only a change in head coach is not enough for them. However, it will be interesting to see whether they give Billups a chance in the upcoming season before deciding their future at the franchise.
Recently McCollum spoke about Lillard’s future at the franchise and also the future of the Blazers. He said, “The rain is coming, but right now, it’s super pretty.” He indicated Lillard’s stay by this statement but has also hinted at a potential chance of ‘rain’.
Speaking on the Blazers’ title chances for the upcoming season, McCollum said, “I think whenever we step on the court, we have a chance to win a championship. If you don’t have that mindset and that mentality, then you shouldn’t play. That’s my mindset and mentality every year—to compete at the highest level, to really focus on being the best version of myself as a player to help us win.
“That being said, I feel like every year we have a chance to win a championship. But in the NBA, there’s so many things that go into that. You need a little luck.”
CJ McCollum has a great attitude and his combination with Dame Dolla makes them one of the best backcourts in the NBA currently. However, even he knows that the team is not in the right shape to compete with other superteams.
It all revolves back to Damien Lillard’s open criticism of the Blazers front office when he said that the team is not Championship level even with the arrivals of Billups. “I think if you look at our team as it is, going into next season, I don’t see how you can say ‘This is a championship team, it just needed a new coach,’ when we just lost in the first round to a team that was hurt,” Lillard criticised in the buildup to Tokyo.