The Portland Trail Blazers came into this season with serious playoff hopes. After all, before last year’s injury-plauged campaign, the team had made the playoffs eight years in a row with star guard Damian Lillard at the helm.
But, this year just has not gone their way. Lillard has missed 15 games, Jusuf Nurkic has missed over twenty, and the team has never quite clicked.
Still, the team was in the playoff hunt in the competitive Western Conference until a recent skid has them just 3-8 in their last 11 games. And, in the Western Conference, that’s simply not going to get it done. Now, the Blazers sit 3.5 games out of the last play-in spot held by the Oklahoma City Thunder with just 9 games remaining.
So, they are considering shutting down Damian Lillard, who has a sore calf, for the rest of the season.
Sources: The Portland Trail Blazers are leaning toward shutting down All-Star Damian Lillard for the season's final nine games. The franchise is seriously considering taking precautions as Lillard deals with calf injury and the team is 3.5 games out of Play-In Tournament race.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 25, 2023
Strange decision, given they’re only a few games out of the playoffs and could conceivably still make it.
Well, enter Victor Wembanyama. Wembanyama, if you have not heard of him, is a 7-foot-3-inch, once in a generation prospect from France that will be in the upcoming 2023 draft. There’s nothing this kid can’t do.
🧵🧵 Victor Wembanyama Thread 🧵🧵
Some of the most absurdly eye-popping offensive plays made by Vic this year.
He's 7'4". What… what do you even do with this? pic.twitter.com/8X8HKAeRCH
— The Box and One (@TheBoxAndOne_) February 20, 2023
He just turned 19, and has dominated all the top competition he’s faced. And, with the NBA’s Draft Lottery, every spot the Blazers can move down in the overall standings, the bigger chance they have to get Wembanyama, or the second-best prospect in the draft, Scoot Henderson, who is considered a potential superstar point guard.
Now, the last time the Blazers picked first overall and picked a center it was Greg Oden. And, they famously picked 2nd in 1984, and took Sam Bowie sandwiched between Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan. So, maybe NBA fans don’t want the Blazers getting Wembanyama. But, they sure want him.