Rebuilding free-agent option: Paul Reed
In the event that the Trail Blazers can’t find veteran talent to put around Lillard and he asks for a trade, they would need to shift their focus towards building around their young core.
If the Blazers rebuild, they are likely to let Grant walk in free agency and would likely try to find a trade partner for Nurkic, whose age and contract don’t make sense for a rebuilding franchise. The absence of both Grant and Nurkic would leave a big hole in the Blazers frontcourt.
In this case, newly drafted Kris Murray may be able to take the reigns on the power forward position, leaving the center position as the Blazers’ biggest need.
One intriguing player who could play a significant role in this scenario is Paul Reed, a promising young center from the Philadelphia 76ers.
Reed has shown growth and potential during his short NBA career. After the All-Star break last season, in an expanded role, Reed’s performance took a significant leap. He showcased his ability to contribute on both ends of the court. In 13.3 minutes per game, he averaged 6.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 0.9 blocks, displaying his versatility and defensive impact.
Reed’s skill set is well-suited for the modern NBA. Standing at 6-foot-9, he possesses the size, length, and athleticism to guard multiple positions effectively. His defensive versatility allows him to switch onto guards, protect the rim, and disrupt passing lanes.
Additionally, Reed’s activity on the boards and ability to finish around the rim make him a valuable presence in the paint.
His defensive prowess and ability to guard multiple positions would mesh well with the Blazers’ guard-heavy lineup. Reed’s athleticism and rebounding skills would also address the team’s needs for interior presence and second-chance opportunities.
At just 23 years old, Reed’s best basketball is still ahead of him. He has already shown flashes of his potential, displaying an improving offensive game and a knack for impacting games with his energy and defense. Given the opportunity for expanded minutes and a defined role, Reed has the potential to blossom into a key contributor for the Blazers.
As a restricted free agent, the 76ers have the right to match any offer made to Reed. However, with potential luxury tax concerns if James Harden returns, the 76ers may be hesitant to match a substantial offer for Reed’s services.
This presents an opportunity for Portland to make a competitive offer that the 76ers might be reluctant to match. By offering Reed a contract that aligns with his potential and the Blazers’ long-term plans, they can secure a young talent who fits their potential rebuilding strategy.
Ultimately, the path the Portland Trail Blazers choose will shape the trajectory of the franchise for years to come. Whether it’s building around their talented guards in a contending scenario or embarking on a rebuild, the decisions made in free agency will be crucial.
By targeting the right free agents, the Blazers can position themselves for success and strive toward their desired goals. It’s a critical juncture for the franchise, and the choices made will determine the Blazers’ future in the highly competitive landscape of the NBA.