NBA Rumors: Portland "Intensely Engrossed” In Making Significant Moves

The Portland Trail Blazers, who found themselves in the 5-seed just over a month ago after a strong start, have sunk to 13th in the Western Conference after a 6-13 run. But they're far from giving up on this season, and according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, they intend to be a mover & shaker at the trade deadline in order to make a push into playoff contention. 

The struggling Portland Trail Blazers are intensely engrossed in improving the roster with the trade deadline approaching, and they are said to be listening to all overtures, league sources tell Bleacher Report.

"Intensely engrossed" sounds pretty serious, indeed. 

Haynes confirms that despite their current standing, ahead of only two teams in the West, "there are no plans to tank this season," according to his sources. He reiterates that the team's main focus is building a roster around franchise player Damian Lillard that can be a strong playoff contender. 

He cites shooting, size and depth as the main areas of need, while pointing out that the Blazers are dead last in the NBA in bench scoring, at just 24 PPG. 

Their offseason went well, re-upping on a long-term deal with breakthrough player Anfernee Simons, and adding Jerami Grant in a trade. While Simons is scoring at a career-high rate of 21.4 PPG, Grant has been just as good, at 21.2 points per game, and is definitely a piece they'd like to build around. He does become a free agent at season's end, but the most recent reports are that the team is "confident" they'll be able to keep him long-term.

Their goal at the deadline is to add another piece that works out as well as those two big moves. 

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