Fischer notes that team president Neil Oshley consulted with Lillard during the offseason to discuss good wing fits. Aaron Gordon, recently traded to another West contender in the Nuggets, was considered, though the team ultimately opted to trade for the cheaper Robert Covington. New addition Norman Powell may become tough to retain in restricted free agency, notes Fischer, who wonders if keeping Powell means the club may be willing to move CJ McCollum.
There’s more out of the Northwest Division:
- Work visa issues may delay the arrival of new Thunder forward Gabriel Deck to Oklahoma City, head coach Mark Daigneault has indicated, as Joe Mussatto of the Oklahoman tweets.
- Michael Rand of the Star Tribune wonders if the impending sale of the Timberwolves to ex-MLB All-Star Alex Rodriguez and entrepreneur Marc Lore could put the pressure on president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas to expedite a winning culture. Minnesota has made just one playoff appearance since its Western Conference Finals berth in 2004.
- The Jazz, current owners of the top seed in the Western Conference, are striving to balance resting their core players without losing their competitive edge, writes Tony Jones of The Athletic. “When we have guys out, we are going to have to have some other guys be really aggressive, and we are going to have to run as much as we can,” head coach Quin Snyder noted. The team has been more liberal in resting players with All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell absent due to a low-ankle sprain.