10 Worst Portland Trail Blazers moves of the Joe Cronin era

Portland Trail Blazers, Joe Cronin. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Portland Trail Blazers, Joe Cronin. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers, Jusuf Nurkic. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Re-signing Jusuf Nurkic

The Trail Blazers have tried to keep a competitive team around Damian Lillard in recent years, and it immediately resulted in some regrettable moves. Portland acquired Nurkic and a first-round pick in 2017 for Mason Plumlee and signed him to a four-year $48 million extension in 2018. It allowed him to hit the open market again in 2022, and Joe Cronin and the front office locked him up to an even bigger deal without seeing the red flags.

In the three years before signing his new contract, Nurkic played a total of 101 games, or just 33.6 per season. Injuries set him back every year, and the Blazers were coming off a bad season. None of that mattered. They still inked him to a four-year deal worth $70 million.

After a fourth straight injury-plagued year, no team in the league wants to trade for Jusuf Nurkic. The soon-to-be 29-year-old has $54.4 million remaining on his contract and does not become a free agent until 2026. How many games can the Blazers expect at this point? It is a bad situation and arguably the worst move of Joe Cronin’s tenure as the team’s lead decision-maker.

Should Portland Trail Blazers fans have faith in Cronin to make the Damian Lillard trade? It is a fair question to ask. Most of these moves are regrettable at best, and the franchise needs to maximize its return if it wants to bounce back quickly. Will Joe Cronin make the right deal? Stay tuned to find out.