Free agency 2018: Which players should the Portland Trail Blazers target?

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PORTLAND, OR – APRIL 17: The Portland Trail Blazers honor the National Anthem before the game against the New Orleans Pelicans in Game Two of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 17, 2018 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)

Portland President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey wants ‘playoff-caliber’ players to help the Blazers compete with Golden State and Houston. Who might those players be?

Barring a miracle comeback by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Golden State Warriors are one win away from securing their third title in four seasons. (A streak that includes a non-title year in which they went 73-9 to set the single-season wins record.)

Golden State is a dynasty —‚a superpower in a lopsided NBA. Along with the Rockets, they control the league and the Western Conference. They will continue to do so until another team steps up.

The Portland Trail Blazers (49-33) looked poised to do that this season. But after a collapse in the first round, the team looks vulnerable.

To compete with the Warriors and Rockets, Portland needs an infusion of free agent talent. As I see it, there are five good options.

Free-Agent Philosophy

But first, a quick note on my free agent philosophy.

As a general rule, a team should build its roster through the draft and patch holes using the free-agent market.

Free agency pick-ups should bring a veteran presence and necessary production to the team. Teams should not overhaul their roster in free agency, but rather use it as a way to fine tune and enhance their current roster.

Here are five potential options.

But first, the inevitable plea to LeBron …

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