Blazers Still Intend To Build Around Damian Lillard, Could Have $60M In Cap Space

The Trail Blazers have reshaped the roster following a pair of trades over the past few days, including the one that sent CJ McCollum to the Pelicans. (Full post.)Damian Lillard

But the idea, it seems, is to clear some space for the offseason and continue building around star guard Damian Lillard.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, all the moves made by GM Joe Cronin created a trade exception worth $21 million — perhaps the largest in the NBA. In short, the Blazers could have up to $60 million in salary-cap space during the offseason.

“The Blazers also picked up multiple draft picks and young players in the trades with the Pelicans and Clippers,” via Woj and ESPN. “The plan now for Portland is to pursue high-end talent, not retreat.”

Cronin and the Blazers released a statement about the trade, which became official late Tuesday.

“On behalf of the Trail Blazers organization, I want to thank CJ McCollum for the integral role he has played in the success of the franchise over the last nine seasons and for his countless acts of service to the Portland community,” Cronin said. “CJ has cemented himself in Trail Blazers history with his elite skill level and memorable moments on the court as well as with the work ethic, professionalism and generosity he displays behind the scenes

“I also want to thank Larry Nance Jr., Tony Snell and Cody Zeller for their contributions to the organization and community this season. We wish all four players success moving forward.”

Cronin did not comment on any of the incoming players. Late last week, the Blazers sent guard/forward Norman Powell and forward Robert Covington to the Clippers in exchange for guard Eric Bledsoe, small forward Keon Johnson, guard/forward Justise Winslow and a 2025 second-round pick.

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