Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard is in the prime of his career.
Nobody is going to dispute that Portland needs a piece or two to propel the 30-year-old and the Blazers to the next level.
Now that free agency gets underway Friday afternoon, all eyes are fixated on what the Trail Blazers are going to do with their $9.3 million mid-level exception.
On the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast, NBC Sports Northwest Blazers Insider Dwight Jaynes joined Channing Frye and Dan Sheldon to discuss who and what Portland needs heading into the 2020-21 season.
Does veteran forward Paul Millsap move the needle?
In the 2020 playoffs, Millsap averaged 8.0 points, 4.7 boards and 1.2 assists in 19 games against the Jazz, Clippers and Lakers as he helped Denver become the first team in NBA history to come back from two 3-1 series deficits in one playoff run.
The Godfather Dwight Jaynes believes that Blazers would like to add a guy like Millsap.
“I think that’s a guy they would like,” Jaynes told Frye and Sheldon. “Because, again, his versatility, his ability to defend more than one position and his experience level – He’s a guy that had really destroyed Portland several times in his individual games.”
Millsap will turn 36 in Feb.
“He’s a little on the old side to have that kind of impact that we’re talking about,” Jaynes added.
So if not Millsap, then who does the Talkin’ Blazers crew like?
Actually it’s not who, but what exactly.
Dwight is looking for the Blazers to land a free agent who can bring in some much needed toughness to the current roster.
Jae Crowder possibly?
While Channing believes Portland needs to bring in a guy who will do the dirty work and give maximum effort and energy.
Jaynes added, “I think individually some of their players have it, but there needs to be a total team buy-into that where you’re not going to let a team take a game from you without letting them have to fight their way out of the gym… I think they need a little dose of that.”
“For me, it’s an injection of energy,” Frye explained. “So, Carmelo [Anthony] came and the injection of energy and belief uplifted two or three players.”
Frye mentioned that Robert Covington is a good start to bringing in that type of energy that he believes is needed in Portland.
But now it’s time for the Blazers to turn their attention to free agency and bringing in that right type of effort player.
Listen to the entire Talkin’ Blazers podcast here.