Dec 17, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (right) celebrates with point guard Damian Lillard (0) after Lillard

Portland Trail Blazers counting on young core to improve

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The Portland Trail Blazers had an excellent 2013-2014  season. They finished with a record of 54-28, returned to the postseason and even took down the Houston Rockets in six games in the first round of the NBA playoffs before falling to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs in five games in the second round.

The Trail Blazers have signed a couple of veterans in the offseason, agreeing to a deal with center Chris Kaman and point guard Steve Blake, relatively minor moves.

According to Alex Kennedy, it was quiet offseason for the Portland Trail Blazers because they are counting on the continued improvement of their young core.

I think the Blazers entered this offseason realizing that they didn’t need to make any splashy moves. The core pieces are already in place – Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nic Batum, Wes Matthews, etc. I think they’re hoping that players like Lillard, Batum, C.J. McCollum, Will Barton and Thomas Robinson will continue to improve and that the veteran additions of Blake and Kaman make them deeper, but they didn’t need to make any big moves this summer. Continuity and chemistry are important in the NBA, so bringing back largely the same roster is a good move for Portland since it seems their best basketball is still ahead of them. Last season was excellent for the Blazers and the franchise has a lot of momentum; it’ll be interesting to see how they follow up that big year.

The Trail Blazers would have liked to make a bigger upgrade and even reportedly targeted Detroit Pistons’ restricted free agent Greg Monroe (who actually remains a free agent), but without any cap space or the assets to make a trade (or at least assets they are willing to give up), nothing came of it. However, if Lillard and Aldridge can continue to develop into one of the league’s best duos and a player like C.J. McCollum can become a solid contributor, the Trail Blazers will continue to rise in the Western Conference.

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Tags: Chris Kaman Damian Lillard LaMarcus Aldridge Portland Trail Blazers Steve Blake

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