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The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

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Where the Trail Blazers start the 2023 2024 NBA season

The Portland Trail Blazers are one of the most perplexing teams heading into the 2023-2024 NBA season. Entering the season with the NBA’s youngest roster having only one player in their thirties with the 30 year old Malcom Brogdon. This is also the teams first season after trading the franchises all time leading scorer Damian Lillard. 

After a midsummer trade request  all signs pointed towards sending Lillard to the Miami Heat. However that wasn’t the case as Lillard was sent to the Milwaukee Bucks in a blockbuster three team trade that also sent center Jusuf Nurkic and forward Nassir Little to the Phoenix Suns. The trailblazers netted all stars center Deandre Ayton and guard Jrue Holiday as well as rookie Toumani Camara and a first round pick.  Holiday was later traded to the Boston Celtics for Brogdon and forward Robert Williams III. The general consensus on the trade is that Portland should have pushed for another player of Lillards quality, an opinion shared by senior Max Van Ess. 

“The Dame trade was horrible,” said Van Ess. “He’s a top 3 point guard in the league and Portland should have tried to get someone who’s even close to that good.” With the best player in franchise history gone the aims have shifted to third overall pick guard Scoot Henderson. Henderson is the second of the Blazers two top 10 draft picks from the last two years along with last year’s number seven overall pick Shaedon Sharpe both players have tremendous upside and have quickly become the cornerstones of the Trailblazers future. 

With a young exciting roster most fans should be excited, yet with Portland’s history of squandering young talent like Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, Lamarcus Aldridge and even Lillard and longtime backcourt partner CJ McCollum the general mood is nervousness.

“I don’t want to sit through another three to four years of rebuilding just to have them start over and do it all again,” said Van Ess. 

The focal point of many fans’ concerns is head coach Chauncey Billups. Billups was brought in before the 2021-2022 season to build a contender around Damian Lillard and advance further than former head coach Terry Stotts. Instead Portland made two consecutive trips to the draft lottery breaking an eight year playoff streak. Now the goal has changed from win now to developing the team’s young talent and since Billups couldn’t get the job done he was hired to do confidence isn’t high that he’ll be able to do this new one. 

However even with all the uncertainty there is genuine promise in this Trail Blazers team. With such a young roster there’s a chance to build chemistry between the core group of players and assess future moves. Portland has a plethora of picks to use or move at the deadline, exciting players to build around and a loyal fan base that has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. They’re pretty low right now but look poised to be on their way to a major high in the near future.

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About the Contributor
Chris Ryder
Chris Ryder, Sports Editor

When he’s not in the pool or on the diamond you can usually find Chris over analyzing a fantasy sports lineup. A lifelong athlete and sports fan this is Chris’ second year at the Pinnacle, and his first as an editor. Chris hopes to combat his impending senioritis by showcasing all that Summit sports have to offer. When he’s not doing anything sports related you can find Chris playing guitar or growing his ever expanding comic book and record collections. In his final year at the Pinnacle, Chris can’t wait to help as many new writers as he can.

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