News broke Sunday that Mason Plumlee had been traded to the Denver Nuggets, for Jusuf Nurkic and “stuff.” It became clear the Portland Trail Blazers had given up on this season.
Sorry fans. Couldn’t get these players to win like they did last year. That’s the story here, not trading Plumlee. The Blazers overachieved with this roster last year, it’s obvious, because they will not make the playoffs this year. Other reasons could be, they weren’t coached right, or they got paid. A story for another day. Pick your poison, the losses are piling up, and Plumlee was the sacrifice.
“Goodbye Mason,” who was a favorite in the locker room and among the fans, “Good luck in Denver.”
Steps backward with an eye to the future for the Blazers. There will be plenty of cheap seats the rest of the year if you like watching this team. Silver lining.
How many times will Paul Allen be happy to go back to the draft lottery without winning any rings? Clean out the management group again? Blow up the roster again? There’s been no real stability within the Trail Blazers organization since Rick Adelman took Clyde Drexler and the gang to the finals, twice, and yes, that’s my opinion. While they didn’t win a championship, those Blazers were relevant. Good group of players, on and off the court.
Allen has tried to win with free agency also. Remember Rasheed Wallace? Scottie Pippen? Damon Stoudamire? That group? Well, that didn’t work either.
So here we are with a coaching staff, general manager and president who should be on the same page by now, yet I somehow don’t feel those jobs are safe either. If your name isn’t Damian Lillard, you may be playing, coaching or managing somewhere else next year or shortly thereafter.
I don’t see the Blazers using a few first round draft picks and turn out any better than they are right now. Especially since two of their picks are in the 20’s. Ten to 12, ready now, high impact players will be drafted, and I don’t have much faith in the Blazers landing one of those players. See previous drafts.
So, what will Mr. Allen do? Trade players? Draft players? Sell the team? Yes, that’s what I said, sell the team. Maybe it’s time (Allen paid $70 million in 1988. In 2015, the Blazers were valued at $940 million). That is a very good return on his money, I’d say, with a tax break on the horizon.
The only constant around the Blazers is the revolving door of players, staff, and Paul Allen. Twenty-nine years of ownership and no new rings. I’ll take a shuffle at the top, maybe the rings will follow a new vision.