The Portland Trail Blazers 2022 off-season has officially begun

Jusuf Nurkic (left), Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Jusuf Nurkic (left), Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Now that the 2021-2022 Portland Trail Blazers season thankfully is officially over, and the offseason is upon us, here is what comes next.

Exit interviews took place on Monday where Interim General Manager Joe Cronin told reporters,

"“We had to take a step backward in order to move forward. We’ve positioned ourselves where we have some great opportunities.”"

In the coming months, we will find out which direction the team wants to go moving forward. The NBA Draft Lottery will take place Tuesday, May 17. The Blazers finished the season with the sixth-best lottery odds. With the NBA’s new lottery breakdown, however, Portland has a much better chance at moving up or even sliding back than remaining at the sixth pick.

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, 2022 off-season
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, 2022 off-season (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Portland Trail Blazers 2022 off-season has officially begun

The NBA Draft Combine will take place May 16-22. This is where potential and hopeful draftees are measured and perform various drills and tests with staff and various team front office members throughout the NBA watching. If they like a particular player or players, they could invite them to a team workout at their individual practice facilities for a closer look.

On Thursday, June 23, we will see if Iowa forward Keegan Murray, Duke forward AJ Griffin, Memphis center Jalen Duren, or whoever they in fact draft will wear the Blazers hat on stage to shake hands with Commissioner Adam Silver.

Portland has some key free agents they need to decide what they’re going to do with. Anfernee Simons, Jusuf Nurkić, Ben McLemore, CJ Elleby, Keljin Blevins, Joe Ingles, Elijah Hughes, and Drew Eubanks — who signed many ten-day contracts after the trade deadline — will all hit free agency this summer. Joe Cronin will have to decide which of these players have futures in Portland.

Cronin told Rip City Radio’s Jay Allen that he plans to be ‘proactive’ in trying to re-sign Simons, but realizes he could receive other offers in restricted free agency.

Simons told Allen that he expects to be back with the Blazers next season and is confident a new contract will get done this summer.

Free agency officially begins at 3:00 PM ET on August 2, but the past has shown that many deals will be all but signed beforehand.

The Blazers have some positions of need going forward which could be addressed via the draft, free agency, or trade. There have been reports that they have some interest in trading for Detroit power forward Jerami Grant.

Another “hot” storyline this off-season is the intrigue around a possible change of ownership. 750 The Game’s John Canzano recently reported that “whispers” around a franchise sale have begun creeping up with the team’s lease with the city coming closer to its expiration.

Canzano also said,

"“The NBA franchise and the City of Portland remain in ‘productive discussions’ about the lease that ties them together, per a city source. The lease expires in 2025.”"

Canzano also noted that a source within The Vulcan Ownership group told him,

"“The NBA franchise will be prepared for an auction in the next six to 18 months.”"

Perhaps the team is waiting to determine who the new owner(s) will be before naming a permanent GM.

Portland Trail Blazers: 2022 NBA Draft Big Board Lottery Picks. dark. Next