Hot Take Marathon: No Playoffs in Portland .... and Minnesota
*The NBA offseason is cooling down, but the takes at OTG aren't. This month, we are hitting you with the Hot Take Marathon. Check back every day for a spicy NBA take!*
My spicy take for the 2019 NBA season is that the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves will miss the playoffs and subsequently lose a star during the 2019 offseason. Portland will trade one of their backcourt stars, while Jimmy Butler will bail on Minnesota and leave them with the talented but frustrating Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns duo. Both of these teams are actually coming off extremely strong regular seasons, but following early playoff exits both these squads have had internal turmoil and done little to improve their rosters. CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard have voiced displeasure at the Blazers front office for letting Ed Davis walk, and the roster around them hasn’t gotten much better, losing Davis and Shabazz Napier while adding Nik Stauskas and Seth Curry while the rest of the conference has gotten stronger. I think the Blazers stagnate, miss the playoffs, and decide to break up their star backcourt in an attempt to retool this roster. It’s a similar story in Minnesota, as the Wolves made only minor moves and will instead rely on continuing development from Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. This is a risky move I think will backfire grandly, as the lack of defensive intensity and focus from the two will cause Minnesota to miss the playoffs and force their already disgruntled star, Jimmy Butler, to abandon his dear coach Thibs and flee for a team led by players with similar dispositions instead of the seemingly laid back young Wolves duo.