The Portland Trail Blazers are at a pivotal turning point in their franchise’s history. With the potential departure of Damian Lillard looming, the team’s focus shifts to rebuilding and retooling while trying to remain competitive.
One of the primary areas of concern is the center position.
Jusuf Nurkic has been a mainstay for the Blazers, but if he’s included in a trade package for Lillard, Portland will need a suitable replacement. The following are three free agent centers the Blazers should consider.
Blazers’ free agent center option No. 1: Christian Wood – the starter solution
At just 27 years old, Christian Wood has already showcased his immense talent in the NBA. Standing at 6-foot-10, Wood possesses a unique combination of size, agility and skill, making him a matchup nightmare for opposing teams.
His ability to stretch the floor with his shooting and prowess in the paint makes him a dual threat on the offensive end.
Replacing Nurkic with Wood would maintain and elevate the Blazers’ offensive potency. Wood’s age also aligns perfectly with Portland’s timeline, especially if it wants to build around a younger core post-Lillard.
While the rest of the roster skews younger, Wood and Jerami Grant are about the same age, which would give Rip City a bit of win-now talent mixed in with future superstars.
Defensively, Wood has shown flashes of brilliance, especially as a shot-blocker. His length and timing allow him to alter shots in the paint, which would provide the Blazers with a much-needed rim protector.
In terms of contract demands, Wood might command a hefty price tag. However, considering his age and upside, he would be a worthy investment for Portland’s future.