2. Keeping Malcolm Brogdon
The Blazers acquired Malcolm Brogdon in part two of the Lillard trade when they rerouted Jrue Holiday to the Boston Celtics. If a 29-year-old Grant was too old for Portland's rebuilding project, surely the 31-year-old Brogdon would be.
The initial reaction around the league was that there would be a part three to the Lillard move, which would happen when Cronin dealt Brogdon to a contender just as he did Holiday, but that trade never materialized.
It was a wise move by the Blazers, too. The former Rookie of the Year and Sixth Man of the Year has been the buffer between Henderson and the pressure he would be under as he goes from a 19-year-old learning the most difficult position in the NBA to the all-star most people think he'll be.
Brogdon has missed time with muscle injuries, which Portland should have expected given his history, but he's also the team's fourth-leading scorer at 16.0 points per game and its leader in assists. He's started 14 times and is behind only Grant in 3-point shooting percentage.
Cade Cunningham, despite his relative level of success, has never had someone like Brogdon to help slow things down for him. Killian Hayes, another point guard drafted in the top 10, never had that either, nor did 2022's No. 5 overall pick Jaden Ivey, or this year's No. 5 pick, Ausar Thompson.
Had Brogdon been around to siphon minutes and pressure away from those young, raw guards, there's a good chance this Detroit losing streak would have been cut off before it reached epic levels.