The NBA free agency period officially commences this Friday, June 30, at 6 p.m. ET. The Portland Trail Blazers had a great draft with the selections of Scoot Henderson, Kris Murray, and Rayan Rupert. They were an ideal combination of the best available (Henderson) and positional needs (Murray and Rupert).
However, Portland still has pressing needs as it attempts to thread the needle between the Damian Lillard timeline and their youthful timeline. This article evaluates the four most pressing offseason needs the Blazers should prioritize heading into free agency.
Blazers free agency need No. 1: Versatile center
One top need for the Blazers this offseason is to acquire a versatile center. Jusuf Nurkic is limited as a defensive center, given his lack of agility. He frequently gets exploited when switched out onto the perimeter. Drew Eubanks is an unrestricted free agent who did a solid job filling in for Nurkic while he was out, so the Blazers should strongly consider bringing him back if the price is right.
However, if they explore external options, potential free agents who could fill the void include Mason Plumlee, Dwight Powell, and Draymond Green. Plumlee and Green are great playmakers for their position and can thrive as centers who can distribute to the Blazers’ elite shooting guards coming off of screens, similar to the Warriors’ offensive scheme.
Powell is slightly more limited offensively but still has that defensive versatility Portland needs at the center position. He’s capable of switching out onto the perimeter and wouldn’t be exploited as much as Nurkic has been in years past.
Green should be the Blazers’ top priority, but Powell and Plumlee are serviceable centers who fit as solutions to the Blazers’ weaknesses.