Portland Trail Blazers Free Agency Preview

Practical Max Cap Space: $-12,545,927

Good Contracts:

Al-Farouq Aminu- $6.9 Million through 2019

Zach Collins- $13.2 Million through 2021

Bad Contracts:

Evan Turner- $36.4 Million through 2020

Maurice Harkless- $22.3 Million through 2020

Meyers Leonard- $21.8 Million through 2020

Biggest Need:

Big Men

Key Free Agents:

Jusuf Nurkic

Ed Davis

Shabazz Napier

Best Free Agent Target:

Jusuf Nurkic

Overview:

In one of the most hard capped situations in the entire NBA, the Portland Trail Blazers are stuck between a rock and a hard place in terms of roster building. Portland was a big spender in the summer of 2016 and it has bite them in the ass. Contracts like Evan Turner, Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless have been great for the players but terrible for the team. Those combined with the large salaries of their stars in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum leave Portland with very very little cap space to spend. For the 2018 offseason, the Trail Blazers won’t have many moves to make besides deciding what to do with their young center Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic played well for Portland in his 99 games with them but he will be out on the market as a restricted free agent. Nurkic will likely draw a fairly large offer but it will be interesting to see of Portland matches any offer he gets at all. They could go for cheaper options and try to save money but they will miss what he brings to the team. I would re-sign him as long as he doesn’t get a full max offer from a desperate team but I don’t really expect that to happen. A combination of Nurkic, Lillard and McCollum is still a playoff team in the Western Conference, despite Portland’s terrible contracts. Here’s to looking past 2020 when the money clears up.

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