Going into NBA all-star weekend, the Portland Trail Blazers sit at 28-30 and only a half-game outside of the play-in tournament. If the season ended today, the Blazers would have the 11th overall pick, giving them a 9.4 percent chance at a top 4 pick and a 2 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick.
With the New York Knicks currently sixth in the Eastern Conference standings, the Blazers would also have the 22nd overall pick that New York sent to Portland in the Josh Hart trade (which is lottery protected).
Blazers general manager Joe Cronin’s trade deadline goal was to acquire assets to use this summer to acquire a star who can propel his team to an NBA championship.
In a story written by Jason Quick of The Athletic the day after the deadline, Cronin said:
"We’re borderline anxious to push all of our chips in. We cannot wait for that moment to happen, it just hasn’t come up yet. It’s my job to be the voice of reason, to be very diligent to not make a big mistake, to not get the wrong guy, to not overpay, to not give up on somebody that could eventually become a really good player. I’ve got to be really smart about this because it’s trying to thread a really thin needle here. We don’t have room for error, we need to get this right. We wanna maximize Damian’s time."
With the goal of building a contender by acquiring another star to pair with Damian Lillard in mind, here are three possible outcomes, ranked from best to worst, for the rest of the Trail Blazers season.