Key Additions: Robin Lopez, Mo Williams, Dorell Wright, Thomas Robinson,Earl Watson, and C.J. McCollum
Key Departures: Draft Picks and J.J. Hickson
Damian Lillard made his mark last season in winning, unanimously, rookie of the year and this season Portland will look to see if they can give him his first taste of playoff action. This off season has been an aggressive one for Portland and its GM Neil Olshey as they have brought in pieces to build around their young core. Robin Lopez, though not as productive as his brother, had career highs in both points and rebounds per game and will look to be a contributor on both ends of the floor. Mo Williams is a dynamo of offensive energy and will provide a spark whether he is in the starting line up or coming off the bench. Dorell Wright was an excellent pick up as he will give the Trail Blazers a perimeter shooter and allow them to space the floor. This was a very shrewd off season for Portland as they were able to pick up several important pieces which will allow them to have a decent shot at playoff contention without breaking the bank.
This coming season will show many differences for the Blazers and should definitely be taking them in a positive direction. This season for Portland will be largely decided by their ability to improve on the defensive end. They certainly look to be back in the hunt with an offense which should rank within the top ten in the league in scoring but their inability to stop opponents could prove to be their downfall. Robin Lopez will have to defend the paint and use his seven foot frame to block and alter opponents shots while also helping LaMarcus Aldridge clean up the defensive glass. Meyers Leonard will need to show improvement in this, his second year, and will undoubtedly provide another seven plus foot presence in the paint for this already very long team. Honestly their length alone will be enough to cause, at least some, initial problems for their opponents. In the long haul if Portland can improve its defense and Damon Lillard does not experience a sophomore slump this is a team which can be expected to sneak into the playoffs this season even if they are unable to make any noise once there.