Predicting the Blazers' perfect starting lineup after ideal offseason

The Portland Trail Blazers could have a promising starting lineup entering the 2024-25 NBA season if all the cards fall into place.
Mar 13, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14)
Mar 13, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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Power forward: Toumani Camara

Toumani Camara, 24, has already shown enough in his rookie season to be considered part of the Blazers' foundational core. He should be a long-term starting wing for them, starting as early as next season. It's becoming increasingly evident why Camara was a "focal point" of trade talks with the Phoenix Suns before eventually coming over along with Deandre Ayton.

Camara was selected No. 52 overall in the 2023 NBA Draft. He fell to the second round because teams perceived him as an older prospect with limited upside. As an NBA prospect, Camara was projected to be a one-dimensional, defensive-minded wing that teams could only play at specific times. Instead, Camara has surprised teams around the league with his shooting and two-way prowess. Camara averaged 7.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 0.9 steals on 45/34/76 shooting splits in only 24.8 minutes a game.

In fact, despite being a rookie, Camara received votes from his NBA peers as one of the most underrated players in the league. The Blazers need to acquire more wings this offseason. But, almost as importantly, they need to clear the way for Camara to get into the starting lineup and play significant minutes, which likely means moving Jerami Grant.

After trading for Ingram in this scenario, the Blazers have shot-creators and offensive initiators. Adding Camara to the equation would give them an elite role piece who can expend his energy on the defensive end, guarding the opposing team's best wing. And, unlike teams thought, he's not an offensive liability. Camara's two-way skill set and ability to contribute to winning without demanding the ball would fit in exceptionally well in this lineup.