From the moment longtime Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen died in 2018, uncertainty has loomed around Portland. His sister, Jody Allen, took control of the franchise – but apparently only temporarily.
Those familiar with the details of the Paul G. Allen Trust tell me there isn’t a lot of wiggle room for trustee, Jody Allen. The trust was established in 1993 and includes billions in assets, including the NBA’s Trail Blazers and NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.
“Paul directed that the trust be liquidated upon his death and the assets used to fund his passion projects,” a source said. “None of this is up in the air. The instructions are clear: The sports franchises and everything in the trust must be sold.”
Insiders expect the Blazers to be positioned for auction in the next 6-18 months.
As a basketball team, the Trail Blazers are at a crossroads. They tore down the roster around Damian Lillard before the trade deadline and presumably plan to build back up around the point guard who will be eligible for a two-year, $106,552,284 contract extension this summer.
But an impending sale complicates matters. Will Jody Allen direct the team to cut costs and get leaner? How would Lillard, who has expressed tremendous loyalty to Portland but wants to win, feel about that?
This offseason will be telling.
Then, apparently within six months, Portland will have a new direction.
That’s a lot of upheaval.