Newly ensconced Trail Blazers GM Joe Cronin is tasked with the near impossible: Rebuild a contender on the fly around Damian Lillard. Portland will re-sign Anfernee Simons, but the door is wide open after that. The Trail Blazers have been tied to Jerami Grant, would love to talk to Zach LaVine, and are a name that pops up with any significant free agent or trade possibility.
Where could Portland turn in free agency? During the season, at least one prominent member of the organization viewed Miles Bridges as a target for the club. Cody Martin was also viewed as a target during the season.
Bridges finished seventh in Most Improved Player voting this season and averaged 20.2 points and seven rebounds a game, shooting 33% from 3 and playing strong defense.
Charlotte rightfully sees Bridges as a key part of their future, running next to LaMelo Ball, and have said they intend to re-sign him. That means to pry Bridges away from the Hornets would take an over-the-top large contract offer. Which the Hornets just might match anyway. Also, if the Trail Blazers made a massive offer to Bridges it would freeze the cap space they used to go after him for up to 48 hours (while the Hornets decided whether to match), and in that time a lot happens in free agency. That is a huge risk for a Portland team that needs to make multiple bold moves this summer.
Most likely, Bridges will be back with the Hornets next season. But there are other teams with an eye on him.