Portland Trail Blazers: Who should be part of the long-term core?

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The playoffs are over for the Portland Trail Blazers after losing to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. After a successful season, who should be a part of this team’s long-term core?

The Portland Trail Blazers shocked the NBA world after they made it to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2000. The Blazers had a successful playoff run in 2019, even after losing their star center Jusuf Nurkic to a fractured leg just a couple weeks before the postseason.

Portland beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games and came out the winners in a tough seven-game series with the Denver Nuggets. The Blazers met up with the defending champion Golden State Warriors and lost to them in four games, but three of those games were competitive, including overtime in Game 4. This was the third time in four years that the Warriors sent Portland home from the playoffs.

This team that made a deep playoff run could look a little different going forward. Al-Farouq Aminu, Enes Kanter, Seth Curry, Rodney Hood and Jake Layman are set to be free agents this summer, while Evan Turner. Maurice Harkless, Meyers Leonard and Skal Labissiere will be hitting the free agent market the next offseason. Everyone besides Layman and Labissiere played meaningful roles during the playoffs.

Looking ahead to the future, which players should be part of this team’s long-term core going forward? Portland has drafted and traded well over the past years. Here are five players that should be around for a while.