Portland closes out wing rotation with addition of Josh Richardson
In signing Damian Lillard to another massive extension this summer, the Portland Trail Blazers should have firmly dispelled any remaining speculation that Lillard will begin and end his career in Rip City. This is the man the Blazers are building their franchise around, a modern star cut from the same cloth as Dirk, Kobe, and Tim Duncan. He is Portland, and the franchise's title hopes are tied to his tenure here.
That said - this hasn't prevented the Blazers from tinkering with the complimentary pieces they're surrounding Lillard with. Their confidence in Anfernee Simons motivated them to move on from CJ McCollum last year, a move that is proving to work out well for both Portland and New Orleans.
Still, the Blazers shouldn't settle for where they are now. The West is wide open, and they should consider re-tooling as much as they can to maximize their win-now window. He's only 32, which isn't out of his prime yet, but Dame doesn't have forever; if he wants to grab a ring, there's no time to wait.
Those ~21 minutes that the Blazers are giving to Keon Johnson and Jabari Walker would be a lot better spent on Josh Richardson. Playing Johnson & Walker would be fine if the Blazers viewed the two as foundational pieces of their future, but so far neither of the two show that level of promise.
The Blazers don't have other teams' first-round picks so spend like the Knicks but they do own each of their firsts for the next six years, any one of which could be flipped to San Antonio with top-ten or lottery protection for Richardson.
For Portland, passivity is death. Stop thinking about the 2027 draft class and focus on how to get Dame a ring. Shoring up the wing rotation with Josh Richardson fits that thinking and is something GM Joe Cronin should consider.