The Trail Blazers are looking to fill some areas of need prior to the Feb. 9 trade deadline, per Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.
Without offering specific targets, Haynes identified those needs as shooting, size and overall depth — as the Blazers have no intention of playing the NBA Draft Lottery. Instead, they seem to be focused on a playoff push.
At 22-25, they currently sit in 13th place in the Western Conference. But they are also just two games behind the sixth-place Clippers, and 1.5 games back of the Suns and Jazz.
Blazers star Damian Lillard was asked by reporters following a collapse against the Lakers on Sunday if the team needs to make a deal. (They rebounded Monday with a win over the Spurs.)
“Right now, we’re just not getting it done,” he said. “I do want to win. I don’t think it’s a secret that I want to win. I think we’ve got to do whatever we need to do to be in a position to win.”
Lillard, however, was in no mood to play general manager. That is GM Joe Cronin‘s job.
“I’m confused why y’all asking me these questions right now, honestly,” Lillard said, via Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian. “I respect it, but the bottom line is we’re at the midway point of the season and we’re struggling right now. We’re not playing really well. We’ve been in a lot of these games. None of these games are just like we’re getting blown away. So, I think as far as basketball goes, there are things that we can do to be better and we win some of these games.”
For the record, the NBA trade deadline is Feb. 9. The Blazers haven’t been linked to many trade rumors, though that can change between now and time runs out on making a deal. This is the NBA, and things are always fluid.
Available names include Hawks forward John Collins, Suns forward Jae Crowder and Bucks center/forward Serge Ibaka. Crowder and Ibaka may be just the type of veterans the Blazers could use and are believed to be cost-efficient.
That’s especially the case for Ibaka, and sources have told Hoops Wire he is drawing interest from several Western Conference teams. It is not known if the Blazers are among them.
Nor is it known if Ibaka is viewed as someone who has enough left in the tank to even help a team such as Portland. But given their meltdown vs. the Lakers, it’s fairly evident they could use some more veterans and maybe more size. There was a lot of inexperience showing in that particular collapse.
“I don’t think anything is ever just an easy fix in the NBA,” Lillard said, via Fentress. “A lot of things have to be lined up whether chemistry, pieces fitting together, guys caring, how much it matters.”