That is right, Meyers is a free agent! The Blazers can sign The Hammer once more. Here me out….nah I can’t do it.
Shabazz is the man! Right? No. Maybe. The Blazers need a backup point guard like a man in the desert needs water. It is the Blazers weakest position. They can keep using CJ at the backup point, but if the Blazers had a an actual back point guard, that can run the floor effectively, both Dame and CJ can get the rest they need to finish games strong.
A weak bench has been continuing issue for the Blazers. Their bench got a little better this past season, but injuries ruined any consistency there. The Blazers could use a back up point guard sorely. Maybe Napier isn’t the guy, but he played well for Portland and was one of their best back up point guards in recent years.
Batum was a key piece of the Blazers dark horse roster before Aldridge left and the team was dismantled. Batum was far to inconsistent and overpaid then, but he was one of Portlands best shooters when he was on and was an ignition source for energy on both ends of the floor. Maybe after several years lampooned in Charlotte he could return more experienced on a cheap contract. Perhaps the MLE.
Harkless is a free agent, but will likely resign with the Knicks and opt to stay in his stomping ground in New York. You can’t say you don’t miss him though. Harkless was a fan favorite and another ignition doyrce for Portland who thrives off high energy. It would be nice to have him back, as unlikely as that is.
10. Robin lopez
Did you think I was done skipping down memory lane. Robin Lopez joined the Bucks last season along with other Blazer alumni Wesley Matthews (It would be nice to see Matthew’s in a Blazers jersey again, but with resentments and all not likely) and Patt Connaughton. With Whiteside out the door the Blazers could use a new backup center, unless they use Collins there. But, still the Blazers need more depth in the front court. Lopez would come cheap and provide serviceable minutes off the bench. The Nlazers could use his defensive prowess.
9. Nerlen Noels
Noels would fit well with the Blazers. A big man more than capable on the defensive end with his intimidating shot blocking presence as well as his explosive nature at the rim on the offensive end. Noels is no Whiteside, but he would come cheap and give the Blazers a defensive presence on the bench allowing the Blazers to fend off runs while the starters rest.
8. Marc Gasol
Rumors are swirling that Marc Gasol will play in Spain next season instead of the NBA, but his brother dispelled them as false. Marc may want to play elsewhere next year and Portland would love to have him. He would be the perfect fit behind Nurkic. His ability to shoot from the three can only mean good things in Stotts system. But, he would also bring championship experience and provide the Blazers with another big man who knows the pick and roll and can play at the rim with ease. He is getting older and probably wants a smaller role. If Portland can get him with the MLE its a win/win. Maybe, the Blazers would have a Gasol that would actually play this time.
7. Serge Ibaka
Another big man who could bring championship experience to Portland as well as some much needed defense. Ibaka was once an elite rim defender and still has it, well some of it at 31. He is coming off a $23 million contract in Toronto, so the price tag might be too much. Then again, with the huge loss in revenues for the league and its teams, there may not be big money being doled out so freely. In the case he doesn’t demand a kings ransom, he would be a great fit with Portland.
6. Otto porter Jr
Blazer fans have had their eyes on Otto Porter Jr for years. Porter does have a player option for $28.5 million which he will probably take because he had a down season plagued by injuries and likely won’t have as high a value as he would like in Free Agency.
Maybe though, just maybe he wants out of Chicago. Maybe he wants a chance to win and sees the possibility in that alongside Lillard, McCollum, and Nurkic. The Blazers would either have to get him to take a cheap contract which he won’t do or make a trade to make more room…well that or he would take a big chunk of Portland’s space if Whiteside walks away. The Likelihood of him coming to Portland is slim to nothing, but fans would be happy and Portland would have a chance to contend.
5. Aaron Baynes
Baynes had an amazing season with Phoenix before injuries took him out late in the season. The Australian big man is savage and what better compliment to the beast himself Nurkic, is another intimidator. Barnes shot 35% from three last season and can be a force off the bench to help protect leads and keep opponents in check. He would be the perfect replacement for Whiteside. Alas, he is probably out the Blazers price range. But, man how exciting would it be to get him.
4. Christian Wood
Many of you maybe scratching your heads an saying who? But, if you have been paying attention and know who this breakout big man is your probably on the same page with me. He is the exact type of player you like seeing in Portland. He fits the mold, in fact I think the mold was modeled after him, or at least it should have been.
The hard working energizer bunny who has bounced recently from New Orleans to Detroit is on the Market. But, Detroits number one priority seems to be to resign him. They see him as part of the future and are going to pay to keep him around. He has said however that he, “never chased money, he has chased his dreams” Maybe his dream like all other NBA players is to win a trophy and maybe he doesn’t see Detroit as a place where that is going to happen anytime soon. Well, Portland would welcome him with open arms. He would be a great piece to the Blazers puzzle, one of the few remains they need to be a true contender.
3. ENES Kanter
Kanter has a player option, and likes Boston, do he will lijely opt in. But, if he opts out he will get more in Portland. Not much more, but hey. He was a key piece of Portlands 2018-19 run to the Western Conference Finals. Fans wanted him back but the Blazers chose Hood over him. With Whiteside likely leaving, the Blazers coukd use Kanter Again. He fit well next to Nurkic and played well in replacing him when Nurkic went down with a season ending injury. And, Kanter played most of the playoffs with 1 shoulder. Imagine him with both and a healthy Blazers team.
2. Paul Millsap
Millsap is on the outs in the Denver. They will likely let him go in order to resign Jerami Grant. He would be an en inexpensive get. The Blazers almost had him in 2009 when he signed an offer sheet that Utah ultimately matched. The Blazers could use a veteran presence with so many youngsters and he brings over a decade of experience. Millsap is your fundamental glue guy and the Blazers need more cohesiveness. While a bit short for a big man, Millsap has long arms and a relentless engine. He is a savvy rebounder and has a three point shot (43%) that would work well in Portland. He is not as good as he used to be, but he is the odds and ends guy the Blazers need. He is very gettable too.
1. Danilo Gallinari
Gallinari is the guy the Blazers should be going after first and foremost. He would be head over heels improvement over Carmelo Anthony. He could be the Blazers starting power forward with Collins playing minutes at the backup 4 and 5.
Gallinari would mean a step up for Portland offensively. They would be maybe the best three point shooting in the league. They were close last season. Gallinari would be perfect and he has said he is at a stage in his career where he will choose winning over money. That probably means he is headed to the Lakers. But, on the off side he chooses Portland, the Blazers would be a contender. Get on the phone Neil. No, really, get on the phone.