National Writer Says Blazers Are Going To Be 14-68 This Season

By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME

Assuming Damian Lillard gets traded at some point, the Portland Trail Blazers are not expected to be very good this season. With the schedule being announced on Thursday, we can look at and project the upcoming season.

Unfortunately, there is no market for the Trail Blazers win total because of the Damian Lillard uncertainty. If we think Lillard gets traded, how bad are the Blazers going to be?

According to one national NBA writer, the Blazers could be one of the worst teams in the league.

Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey went through the whole NBA schedule for each team and projected wins and losses, and it’s easy to say that Bailey is not a fan of the Trail Blazers assuming Lillard is traded.

Bailey has the Blazers at 14-68 this season.

When Vegas finally does come out with win totals, that would undoubtedly be under for the Trail Blazers, and would put them in a spot to compete for the top pick in the NBA draft.

Part of Portland’s struggle, Bailey says, will be due to the youth movement garnered by trading Lillard.

“Whether it’s Miami or some other team, the return package is likely to be pick- and prospect-heavy too. And that means Portland, despite the arrival of Scoot Henderson and development of Shaedon Sharpe, will probably look a lot like it did when Lillard was off the floor in 2022-23.”

How bad was Portland without Lillard last season?

“The Blazers were a dismal minus-10.6 points per 100 possessions when Lillard didn’t play,” Bailey writes. “That’s a point differential around that of an 18-win team.”

I don’t think that the Blazers are going to be that great next season with or without Damian Lillard. But 14 wins is way too low in my opinion.

Even if Lillard is gone, this is a team with Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant, Shaedon Sharpe, and Scoot Henderson. Simons and Grant are proven NBA players who can play on a high level, and Sharpe and Henderson are going to have games where they explode. Twenty-five to thirty wins seems more likely to me, even if they eventually trade Jerami Grant.

I also didn’t include Jusuf Nurkic on this list who is technically still on the roster. I think Nurkic could get moved in a Lillard trade, but if Nurk is still on the roster for opening night, he is an above average NBA center.

There is too much veteran talent to think that the Blazers only win 14 games. They aren’t a playoff team with or without Dame, but I also don’t think they will be the worst team in the league like Andy Bailey does.

Check out Andy Bailey’s full projections for every team by clicking the link here.

@steven_von

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