PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Trail Blazers have three ways to improve the roster for the 2019-20 season: the NBA draft, free agency, and trades.

The Blazers have the No. 25 pick in the first round of the June 20 NBA draft. Portland does not have a second-round selection.

Free agency begins July 1. The Blazers have the taxpayer midlevel exception available to use, which starts at about $5.7 million annually. If Portland trims about $2 million of salary, it would be able to use the full midlevel exception, which starts at about $9.2 million per year.

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If the Blazers want to make a big move this offseason, it will likely be through a trade. Portland has some trade assets, including large expiring contracts and intriguing young talent like Zach Collins and Anfernee Simons.

(Editor's note: For more details about draft and free agency options and rules, scroll to the bottom of this article)

Below, we take a look at free agency fits at center for the Blazers. While Portland can’t afford any of the top-tier free agents, these are the players Portland could sign using either the taxpayer midlevel exception or the full midlevel exception.

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Each player is categorized by their affordability for the Blazers.

AFFORDABILITY KEY

  • Yes: It’s nearly certain the player would definitely sign for the taxpayer midlevel exception ($5.7 million annually) or less.
  • Likely: It’s possible the player would sign for the taxpayer midlevel exception ($5.7 million annually), though probably not less.
  • Questionable: The player would likely sign for the full midlevel exception ($9.2 million annually), but probably not the taxpayer midlevel exception.
  • Doubtful: There’s a chance the player would sign for the full midlevel exception ($9.2 million annually), though it’s more likely the player will sign for a larger contract.

Centers

BROOK LOPEZ

Height: 7-0

Weight: 270

Age: 31

2018-19 stats: Averaged 12.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.2 blocks in 28.7 minutes per game with the Bucks. Played 81 games (81 starts). Shot 45.2% from the field and 36.5% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $3.4 million

Can Blazers afford him? Doubtful

DEWAYNE DEDMON

Height: 7-0

Weight: 245

Age: 29 (turns 30 on Aug. 12)

2018-19 stats: Averaged 10.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.1 blocks in 25.1 minutes per game with the Hawks. Played 64 games (52 starts). Shot 49.2% from the field and 38.2% from the 3-point line (on 3.4 attempts per game).

2018-19 salary: $7.2 million

Can Blazers afford him? Doubtful

JAVALE MCGEE

Height: 7-0

Weight: 270

Age: 31

2018-19 stats: 12.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks in 22.3 minutes per game with the Lakers. Shot 62.4% from the field. Not a 3-point shooter.

2018-19 salary: $1.5 million

Can Blazers afford him? Questionable

ED DAVIS

Height: 6-10

Weight: 225

Age: 29 (turns 30 on June 5)

2018-19 stats: Averaged 5.8 points, 8.6 rebounds in 17.9 minutes per game with the Nets. Played 81 games (1 start). Shot 61.6% from the field. Not a 3-point shooter.

2018-19 salary: $4.4 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

ROBIN LOPEZ

Height: 7-0

Weight: 275

Age: 31

2018-19 stats: Averaged 9.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 blocks in 21.7 minutes per game with the Bulls. Played 74 games (36 starts). Shot 56.8% from the field. Not a 3-point shooter.

2018-19 salary: $14.4 million

Can Blazers afford him? Likely

BOBAN MARJANOVIC

Height: 7-3

Weight: 290

Age: 30 (turns 31 on Aug. 15)

2018-19 stats: Averaged 7.3 points 4.6 rebounds in 11.7 minutes per game with the Clippers and 76ers. Played 58 games (12 starts). Shot 62.5% from the field. Not really a 3-point shooter.

2018-19 salary: $7 million

Can Blazers afford him? Likely

KYLE O'QUINN

Height: 6-10

Weight: 250

Age: 29

2018-19 stats: Averaged 3.5 points, 2.6 rebounds in 8.2 minutes per game with the Pacers. Played 45 games (3 starts). Shot 50.7% from the field. Not a 3-point shooter.

2018-19 salary: $4.4 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

TYSON CHANDLER

Height: 7-1

Weight: 240

Age: 36

2018-19 stats: Averaged 3.1 points, 5.6 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game with the Suns and Lakers. Played 55 games (6 starts). Shot 61.6% from the field. Not a 3-point shooter.

2018-19 salary: $1.3 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

ZAZA PACHULIA

Height: 6-11

Weight: 270

Age: 35

2018-19 stats: Averaged 3.9 points, 3.9 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game with the Pistons. Played in 68 games (3 starts). Shot 44.0% from the field. Not a 3-point shooter.

2018-19 salary: $1.5 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

EKPE UDOH

Height: 6-10

Weight: 245

Age: 32

2018-19 stats: Averaged 2.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, 0.6 blocks in 6.3 minutes per game with the Jazz. Played in 51 games (1 start). Shot 69.4% from the field. Not a 3-point shooter.

2018-19 salary: $3.4 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

More info on the NBA draft

The Blazers could use the 25th pick in different ways. They could draft a player with the pick, they could package the pick with a player on their roster to shed salary or acquire a better player, they could trade the pick for current or future first- or second-round picks, or they could do a combination of some of the above.

For example, the Blazers could trade their first-round pick and one of their large contracts to a team that has the ability to absorb the contract into cap space or a trade exception, and receive a second-round selection in return.

More info on NBA free agency

Free agency begins on July 1, the first day of the new league year.

The Blazers will need to make a decision on restricted free agent Jake Layman before that date. If they offer him the $1.9 million qualifying offer, he’ll become a restricted free agent. Other teams can sign him to an offer sheet once free agency begins, but the Blazers would have the right to match the offer. If the Blazers don’t give Layman the qualifying offer, he’d become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, which means he could sign with any team, including the Blazers, but Portland wouldn’t have the right to match a contract offer from another team.

Teams can negotiate with players and reach verbal agreements starting on July 1, and they can officially sign free agents starting on July 6.

The Blazers have four unrestricted free agents: Al-Farouq Aminu, Enes Kanter, Rodney Hood and Seth Curry. Before July 1, Portland can sign Aminu to an extension of up to four years and $48 million before July 1. After free agency opens, the Blazers have the right to exceed the salary cap and luxury tax threshold to sign Aminu, because they have Aminu’s Bird rights.

The Blazers don’t have those same Bird rights with Kanter, Hood or Curry, so they’re limited in how much they can offer each player. They can sign each player for a contract that starts at 120% of their previous contract (about $585,000 for Kanter, $3.4 million for Curry, and $4.2 million for Hood). It’s unlikely any of the three players will sign for that little. The Blazers could also sign any of the three players using their taxpayer midlevel exception, which starts at $5.7 million. It is expected that Kanter and Hood will attract offers larger than $5.7 million annually. Curry will likely not entertain offers from the Blazers in free agency. He’s looking for a larger role and more money elsewhere.

The Blazers could free up additional spending money if they shed about $2 million in salary, which would bring them under the luxury tax threshold and open up the full midlevel exception, which starts at about $9.2 million. That would require making a trade that brings back less salary than the Blazers send out, or Portland could waive a player and stretch their salary.

Jared Cowley writes about the Trail Blazers and other topics for KGW.com. He's also the co-host of the 3-on-3 Blazers podcast (listen here). You can reach him on Twitter @jaredcowley.