Embiid, Brown, And Other Stars Blazers Fans Should Watch This NBA Postseason.
By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
Another disappointing season is over for your Portland Trail Blazers. But if you want to see competitive basketball, the NBA playoffs are beginning on Tuesday.
The Blazers need to add more talent to the roster and the NBA is full of guys who want to change teams every offseason. Damian Lillard even hinted at it during his end-of-season press conference Sunday.
“I know there’s guys that want to do it,” he said. “And I’ll just say that. I know there’s guys that really move the needle that want to do it, but knowing that and then actually making something happen to make that a reality is a completely separate thing.”
When big-time players leave their teams it’s often because of a lack of success in the postseason. The Trail Blazers have put themselves in a spot where they could have some assets to make a trade for such a player, including a potential top-five pick in this year’s draft, another first-round pick from New York, plus Shaedon Sharpe, Anfernee Simons, and some second-round picks.
Additionally, general manager Joe Cronin can get creative to allow the Blazers to be able to trade future first-round picks, something they currently are not able to do because
With this in mind, here are three players whose teams Trail Blazers fans should root against in the playoffs this spring, thereby increasing the chances of a trade to Portland.
Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers
I’ll admit it. This feels like a long shot. But I have heard some things.
It is well known that Dame and Embiid have a good relationship, and Dame recently went on The Dan Patrick Show to endorse Embiid as this year’s NBA MVP.
The real problem in Philadelphia it seems is that James Harden may not want to re-sign in Philly. If that happens, what message does that send to Embiid? After all, he is the favorite to win the MVP but if the 76ers fail and lose early in the playoffs once again, and uncertainty looms with Harden, could it be time that Embiid would want out? If that happens, Portland would be a great fit. Embiid and Lillard instantly become one of the top combos in the NBA, with both playing at an MVP level. This is the “needle mover” Portland fans have been waiting for.
Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics
“I don’t know. As long as I’m needed. It’s not up to me. We’ll see how they feel about me over time and I feel about them over time. Hopefully, whatever it is, it makes sense. But I will stay where I’m wanted. I will stay where I’m needed and treated correct.”
That is what Jaylen Brown said recently when asked about his future in Boston. It’s a stretch, But Brown will be a free agent in 2024 and if Boston feels like they won’t be able to bring him back, they may look to trade him this offseason. If somehow the Celtics are to be knocked out in the playoffs earlier than expected, Brown may get frustrated. It would cost a lot to get the all-star, But Brown would be the perfect fit next to Damian Lillard.
OG Anunoby – Toronto Raptors
This one seems the most likely of the three potential options. The Raptors are in the play-in game (Wednesday vs Chicago) and have to win two games to get into the actual playoffs. They are loaded with wings that they love, and OG is at the bottom of that list. The Raptors have done deals with the Blazers in the past, and if the Blazers have a chance to get OG they would not have to trade the electrifying Shaedon Sharpe. A Raptors loss in the play-in tournament could be a signal that they need to make some moves. And OG Anunoby to the Blazers has been rumored for over a year.
The NBA Playoffs begin Tuesday and Wednesday with the play-in tournaments.