The biggest regret of the 2022 Portland Trail Blazers?
Now that 2022 is in the rear view, so what Portland Trail Blazers‘Biggest regret of the calendar year? Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale thinks he has the answer.
In a recent piece that poses the question for all NBA teamsFavale cites Portland’s inability to secure another 2022 first-round pick during last season’s roster reset.
Portland gave up CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., Norman Powell and Robert Covington without taking another 2022 first-rounder, an asset it could have kept to add developmental depth or repurposed as part of another upgrade.
While Favale questions New Orleans’ return for the CJ McCollum trade package, he has a bigger gripe with the trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. In that February deal, Portland traded away starters Norman Powell and Robert Covington to return Keon Johnson, Justise Winslow, a few months of Eric Bledsoe (who never played) and a 2025 second-round pick from Detroit.
Losing the New Orleans pick didn’t hurt. The Blazers still created a massive trade exception and picked up Milwaukee’s 2025 first-round pick, which they used on Jerami Grant. Was it enough? When you sent NOLA two players you were interested in expanding?
Portland’s return to Covington and Powell is harder to embrace. CEO Joe Cronin wouldn’t intentionally accept less than market value. Acquiring a Detroit 2025 second-rounder and Keon Johnson as primary compensation is a reflection of how the league felt about Powell’s contract more than anything. But his market, specifically, could have gone up in the offseason if they locked him up and didn’t end up with the left foot injury he did in LA months later, this move still feels like an inconsequential low-selling move.
Both trades were controversial at the time, though the New Orleans deal has been sweetened in retrospect with the emergence of Grant and Josh Hart’s key role in the rotation. The trade with the Clippers remains the more suspect of the two deals. General manager Joe Cronin cited the need to clean up the franchise’s financial books and ensure flexibility as the rationale for the trade. But was it sold too fast and too low, as Favale suggests?
Do you agree with Favale’s assessment of the Blazers’ biggest regret in 2022?
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