Saying “ Instead of throwing their fortune at Hassan Whiteside or Dwight Howard for the rim protection the team so desperately needs” makes it seem like they didn’t attempt. You can throw all the money you want if they don’t sign the deal it doesn’t matter. Whiteside and Howard chose other destinations.
The Blazers aren’t going to get great free agents, this is historically proven unless you are out there agitating for Brian Grant in the HoF. They got the guys they could that would accept the offers and then re-signed their own guys to see if they could develop them further and strike big with some/one.
I don’t really love the offseason, but as a 32 year Blazer fan, I understand it. This is what you do in Portland, you sacrifice something and hope. Sometimes you sacrifice character for talent a la the Jailblazers, sometimes you sacrifice financial flexibility for young promise.
Last year's team was fun to watch, I won’t hate this team going forward, and I will understand if it doesn’t pan out. That happens, but losing these guys to save a few million in cap room that no big name is going to take is equally as pointless. If one other guy can rise like CJ (Crabbe, Leonard, Vonleh) this team can contend. If not, they are back to the drawing board.