4 Reasons Joe Cronin deserves praise for the Trail Blazers' quiet trade deadline

It may have been boring and unpopular, but (almost) no move was the right move for Portland's GM.

Joe Cronin, Portland Trail Blazers
Joe Cronin, Portland Trail Blazers / Soobum Im/GettyImages
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The Trail Blazers don't need to add more young players

If Cronin traded his vets, he was targeting players, not picks, as he reiterated in his post-deadline press conference per Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian/Oregon Live:

"If there’s great value, we’ll add picks. If it’s great value, we’ll add players. But generally speaking, the deals we were pursuing were more player-oriented. Could we find a guy that provides immediate and long-term help? And is there proper value there?"

Blazers GM Joe Cronin

Portland was the fourth-youngest team entering the 2023-24 season with an average age of 24.786. That's younger than other rebuilding teams like the Washington Wizards and even the Detroit Pistons. The Blazers have 12 players under the age of 25 already - franchise building blocks Scoot, Shaedon Sharpe and Anfernee Simons among them.

If the goal was to simply get rid of older players to open minutes for young ones, consider the following example:

Portland ships out Brogdon so Scoot can get more playing time. But instead of adding more picks, Cronin follows his plan and lands another promising young guard instead. We'll call him Player X. But the goal is still to get young players as many minutes as possible, right? So now, head coach Chauncey Billups has to find a way to get both Scoot and Player X minutes.

By keeping Brogdon, Billups can gradually decrease the veteran's minutes while increasing Henderson's but still retain a player who's proven to be valuable to Scoot's development.

Getting younger just for the sake of getting younger isn't smart. And getting younger just to add future draft picks isn't necessarily worth it, because ...