This year's team is going to tank - and tank hard. Since I don't see the Nets having a Top 3 pick, I think the Blazers are going to end up with two Top 10 picks in this year's draft. This two picks would be about $5 million between them.
Totally off-topic for the moment guys, and this just came after checking what happened at the trade deadline. When I realized the Trail Blazers were having a fire sale, I felt bad for the franchise after everything that happened with them (Bowie, Oden, Roy). But when I look at their situation, I feel like they can be a serious contender in the near future.
After picking the options on their rookie-contract players, the Trail Blazers would have 8 players (including S.Williams and Jamal options) with about $21 million in cap space. Assuming they only let Batum go, they could make a run at Deron Williams (starting at about $18 million and decreasing the next year).
What worries me, though, is the next year: they would only have 5 players under contract and about $16 million in cap space. If they can convince Deron to take less money the year before and have the money decrease even more, they might have enough to go after Dwight - hell, they might even trade Wesley Matthews for expiring contracts (which they were doing along with Felton). With their first round pick in 2013, they might have something like:
Deron-Minimum Salary Player-Harrison Barnes-Aldridge-Howard
Austin River-Rookie-Minimum Salary Players
I think this would be a scray team. Please, tell me I'm paranoid because of the whole Heat thing and I'm completely wrong. Thanks.