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 tax-payer 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.

RELATED ARTICLES

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 guard 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.

(Story continues below)

LISTEN: 3-on-3 Blazers: MEGA offseason preview!

Listen to the most recent episode of KGW's 3-on-3 Blazers podcast!

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.

Point guards

ELFRID PAYTON

Height: 6-4

Weight: 185

Age: 25

2018-19 stats: Averaged 10.6 points, 7.6 assists, 5.2 rebounds in 29.8 minutes per game with the Pelicans. Played in 42 games (42 starts). Shot 43.4% from the field and 31.4% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $3.0 million

Can Blazers afford him? Questionable

TREY BURKE

Height: 6-1

Weight: 175

Age: 26

2018-19 stats: Averaged 10.9 points, 2.7 assists, 1.7 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game with the Knicks and Mavericks. Played in 58 games (8 starts). Shot 43.1% from the field and 35.2% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $1.8 million

Can Blazers afford him? Likely

JEREMY LIN

Height: 6-3

Weight: 200

Age: 30

2018-19 stats: Averaged 9.6 points, 3.1 assists, 2.4 rebounds in 19.4 minutes per game with the Hawks and Raptors. Played in 74 games (4 starts). Shot 44.0% from the field and 29.4% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $13.1 million before he was waived by the Hawks. Signed for the rest of the season with the Raptors for $487,109.

Can Blazers afford him? Likely

T.J. MCCONNELL

Height: 6-2

Weight: 190

Age: 27

2018-19 stats: Averaged 6.4 points, 3.4 assists, 2.3 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game with the 76ers. Shot 52.5% from the field and 33.3% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $1.6 million

Can Blazers afford him? Likely

QUINN COOK

Height: 6-2

Weight: 179

Age: 26

2018-19 stats: Averaged 6.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists in 14.3 minutes per game with the Warriors. Played in 74 games (10 starts). Shot 46.5% from the field and 40.5% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $1.5 million, will become a restricted free agent if Warriors extend him a $1.8 million qualifying offer

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

CORY JOSEPH

Height: 6-3

Weight: 193

Age: 27 (turns 28 on Aug. 20)

2018-19 stats: Averaged 6.5 points, 3.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds in 25.2 minutes per game with the Pacers. Played in 82 games (9 starts). Shot 41.2% from the field and 32.2% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $7.9 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

SHELVIN MACK

Height: 6-3

Weight: 203

Age: 29

2018-19 stats: Averaged 7.5 points, 3.2 assists, 1.8 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game with the Grizzlies and Hornets. Shot 40.4% from the field and 35.4% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $1.5 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

ISH SMITH

Height: 6-0

Weight: 175

Age: 30 (turns 31 on July 5)

2018-19 stats: Averaged 8.9 points, 3.6 assists, 2.6 rebounds in 22.3 minutes per game with the Pistons. Played in 56 games (no starts). Shot 41.9% from the field and 32.6% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $6.0 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

MILOS TEODOSIC

Height: 6-5

Weight: 196

Age: 32

2018-19 stats: Averaged 3.2 points, 2.1 assists in 10.0 minutes per game with the Clippers. Played in 15 games (no starts). Shot 42.5% from the field and 37.0% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $6.3 million before he was waived by the Clippers

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS

Height: 6-6

Weight: 190

Age: 27

2018-19 stats: Averaged 4.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists in 13.3 minutes per game with the Rockets and Magic. Played in 28 games (1 start). Shot 37.4% from the field and 26.3% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $59,820

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

JERRYD BAYLESS

Height: 6-3

Weight: 200

Age: 30 (turns 31 on Aug. 21)

2018-19 stats: Averaged 6.1 points, 3.5 assists, 1.8 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game with the Timberwolves. Played in 34 games (6 starts). Shot 35.7% from the field and 29.6% from the 3-point line. Career 36.1% 3-point shooter.

2018-19 salary: $8.6 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

Shooting guards

JEREMY LAMB

Guard/Forward

Height: 6-5

Weight: 185

Age: 26 (turns 27 on May 30)

2018-19 stats: Averaged 15.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.1 steals in 28.5 minutes per game for the Hornets. Played in 79 games (55 starts). Shot 44.0% from the field and 34.8% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $7.5 million

Can Blazers afford him? Doubtful

TERRENCE ROSS

Guard/Forward

Height: 6-7

Weight: 206

Age: 28

2018-19 stats: Averaged 15.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists in 26.5 minutes per game with the Magic. Played in 81 games (no starts). Shot 42.8% from the field and 38.3% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $10.5 million

Can Blazers afford him? Doubtful

WESLEY MATTHEWS

Guard/Forward

Height: 6-5

Weight: 220

Age: 32

2018-19 stats: Averaged 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists in 30.3 minutes per game with the Mavericks, Knicks and Pacers. Shot 40.0% from the field and 37.2% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $18.6 million with Mavericks before he was waived, signed for $427,288 to finish season with the Pacers.

Can Blazers afford him? Questionable

WAYNE ELLINGTON

Shooting guard

Height: 6-5

Weight: 200

Age: 31

2018-19 stats: Averaged 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists in 24.5 minutes per game for the Heat and Pistons. Played in 53 games (38 starts). Shot 40.3% from the field and 37.1% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $2.4 million

Can Blazers afford him? Likely

KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE

Shooting guard

Height: 6-5

Weight: 205

Age: 26

2018-19 stats: 11.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists in 24.8 minutes per game with the Lakers. Played in 82 games (23 starts). Shot 43.0% from the field and 34.7% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $12 million

Can Blazers afford him? Likely

REGGIE BULLOCK

Guard/Forward

Height: 6-7

Weight: 205

Age: 28

2018-19 stats: Averaged 11.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists in 29.8 minutes per game with the Pistons and Lakers. Shot 41.2% from the field and 37.7% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $2.5 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

ALEC BURKS

Shooting guard

Height: 6-6

Weight: 214

Age: 27 (turns 28 on July 20)

2018-19 stats: Averaged 8.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists in 21.5 minutes per game with the Jazz, Cavaliers and Kings. Played 64 games (24 starts). Shot 40.5% from the field and 36.3% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $11.5 million

Can Blazers afford him? Likely

IMAN SHUMPERT

Guard

Height: 6-5

Weight: 215

Age: 28 (turns 29 on June 26)

2018-19 stats: Averaged 7.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists in 23.9 minutes per game with the Kings and Rockets. Played in 62 games (41 starts). Shot 37.4% from the field and 34.8% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $11.0 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

GARRETT TEMPLE

Guard/Forward

Height: 6-6

Weight: 195

Age: 33

2018-19 stats: Averaged 7.8 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists in 27.2 minutes per game. Played in 75 games (55 starts). Shot 42.2% from the field and 34.1% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $8.0 million

Can Blazers afford him? Yes

TROY DANIELS

Shooting guard

Height: 6-4

Weight: 205

Age: 27 (turns 28 on July 15)

2018-19 stats: Averaged 6.2 points in 14.9 minutes per game with the Suns. Played in 51 games (1 start). Shots 41.1% from the field and 38.1% from the 3-point line.

2018-19 salary: $3.3 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.