The 2023-2024 season marks the first time the Portland Trail Blazers will be searching for a new identity since LaMarcus Aldridge’s departure in 2015.
The 2015-2016 Blazers developed a system that revolved around the new face of its franchise: Damian Lillard. The Lillard-centric Blazers adopted a style of play that would remain relatively unchanged for the next eight seasons.
Pick-and-rolls and perimeter shooting defined the team’s strengths, while perimeter defense and offensively-limited forwards emerged as the team’s greatest weaknesses.
Lillard’s departure signals a new era for the Blazers. Aside from who will become the team’s next leader, how the team’s roster overhaul translates to a new style of play promises to be among the most intriguing storylines for the Blazers upcoming season.
The type of young players and veterans brought in by Portland’s front office provides an idea of general manager Joe Cronin’s vision for the next era of Blazers basketball. The roster is far from a finished product, but considering how the team’s core group of players could develop synergy reveals three main stylistic features that will differentiate the new-look Blazers from its previous iteration.