Portland Trail Blazers: 3 affordable former Blazers to consider signing this summer

Moe Harkless, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Moe Harkless, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Moe Harkless, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) /

The Portland Trail Blazers won’t be attracting any superstars this summer. But as they attempt to remain contenders, some former Blazers could be worth calling for an encore.

Where the Portland Trail Blazers lack in championships and Hall of Famers, they’ve made up for in improvisation. They’re probably on Mount Rushmore for it. As a case in point: Portland’s made the postseason in 35 of a possible 49 seasons, and their best free agent since joining the NBA in 1970 is … maybe Rod Strickland? Wesley Matthews? Kenny Anderson?

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The same story is told in 2020. Chemistry and continuity are the name of the game in Rip City. The roadmap to a Western Conference Finals a season ago was predicated on chemistry and role players playing their roles to a tee. A return journey likely comes through the same direction.

Portland probably won’t have the deep pockets, or enough of an allure to even have the likes of Anthony Davis or even Bogdan Bogdanovic this summer, and with the pressure to put a contending product on the floor during Damian Lillard’s prime, it’s suffice to say the Blazers will have to get creative.

If they can’t reel in new talent, why not try somewhat-homegrown talent that already experienced the culture?

When fan favorite 3-and-D swingman Al-Farouq Aminu was asked about how tough it was to leave Portland this past summer in a HoopsHype Q&A, and had an interesting response.

"“It would’ve been weird had I stayed. It’s not the organization, it’s the people that you get to work with every day that you end up [getting close with]. For a couple of months, you see these guys and talk to these guys even more than your family. They shape you and you’re growing with each other. Then, the next thing you know, they may not be there.”"

Of the players we’ve seen leave the Portland Trail Blazers, it’s unclear how many of them felt this way, but it could negate some of the players we’re here to discuss today. Another big caveat could come in what John Hollinger of The Athletic described as an $8 million decline in salary cap, thanks to the coronavirus, which could not only affect Portland’s chances of signing “cheaper” role players, but the mid-level exception as well.

On the flip side, the NBA could have a situation like the NFL, where team activities are cancelled, or postponed altogether, making the need to have players who understand Portland’s basketball heritage and aura all the more pivotal. So, here are five former Blazers that could be intriguing, cap-friendly players to attack during the offseason, whenever that day comes.