For a second, consider the Western Conference next season:
- One 67 win title team which should see more improvement from its youth than decline from its vets.
- One legendary franchise that, after winning 175 regular season games and 34 playoff contests in the past three seasons, signed a franchise player at its weakest position.
- An offensive powerhouse that has the best PG, second best PF and third best C in the game added a veteren finisher that has carried two franchises to series wins the last two playoffs.
- A former finals team that should be bringing back a recent MVP, after a season where they nearly made the playoffs despite their top three players missing a cumulative season of games.
- Last season’s Western Conference runner up should continue to be good in the most hateful way possible, after locking up their pest of a starting PG to compliment their system gaming superstar.
- The team that took out the Blazers Memorial ‘Played the Eventual Champ Closest’ title probably lost ground even after re-signing the best center in the game and adding a PnR finishing wizard to upgrade their second unit
- Either a young squad that went 19-10 with a +5 point diff post all-star last season (with the best DRtg in the league over that span) or a team that has somehow won 87 games the past two seasons without making a playoff appearance.
After losing LA, there was no reasonable way for the Blazers to compete with any of that. Re-signing Wes and RoLo wouldn’t have done it and nor would signing Greg Monroe. Tanking the season is not only reasonable in this context, it’s the best way to ensure a good return on a season where there is a 0% chance of making the postseason. Cap-space should be used on prospects with potential and salary dumps for more draft considerations.
Investing $50 million in Al-Farouq Aminu and Ed Davis seemed a little nonsensical, given this reality. That seems positively inspired though, when compared to the asinine decision to offer 70 million to a Turkish turnstile. Given the best part of a day to wrap my head around it, I’m still coming up dumbfounded. Yes, it looks like OKC will match (thank fuck). No, that doesn’t make any of this insipid, directionless decision making OK.
Just tank the next couple of seasons, screw the Nugs out of a first round pick and wait for Durant and Russ to flee OKC. Then rise again, with Ben Simmons and Udoka Azubuike in tow.