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Blazers enter pivotal offseason | Portland Trail Blazers exit interviews

Portland heads into the offseason with hope. A flurry of moves before the trade deadline freed up cap space and the Blazers may have two lottery picks.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Trail Blazers interim general manager Joe Cronin and head coach Chauncey Billups spoke to the media Monday morning during exit interviews following the conclusion of a turbulent season. Guards Josh Hart and Anfernee Simons also spoke to the media.

The Blazers finished the 2021-22 season with an 11-game losing streak. Portland won 27 games and ended with the NBA's sixth-worst record. Portland had made the playoffs for the past eight seasons.

Despite the challenging season, Portland heads into the offseason with hope. A flurry of moves before the trade deadline freed up cap space and created a large $21 million trade exception. The Blazers will also have at least one lottery pick in this summer's NBA draft and potentially two if the New Orleans Pelicans don't advance from the play-in to the playoffs.

Watch: Trail Blazers exit interviews | Joe Cronin, Chauncey Billups

After Sunday's game, Billups said he's excited for the offseason.

"I'm extremely excited that we can kind of build this thing in a different way that it was. We have the ability to do so," Billups said.

Before Sunday's game, superstar guard Damian Lillard, who missed 53 games this season with an abdominal injury and didn't play a game after Dec. 31, addressed the crowd and promised things would be different next season. 

"This year a lot of things came up that we didn’t expect. A lot of hard times," Lillard said. "But you guys continue to show up. Continue to show us love. Continue to be the fans that I've always known. And I just need y'all to know one thing: This will not continue. Next year we're gonna come back better than we've been."

RELATED: Full transcript: Trail Blazers interim GM Joe Cronin discusses trade deadline, direction of team

RELATED: Can Joe Cronin build a winning roster around Damian Lillard?