Potential Trade Targets: Third First Round Pick

The Blazers need to add as much young talent as possible. There are some nice players who could be remaining later in the draft. Portland should at least explore looking at acquiring a later first round pick with some of their assets.

As I was looking at the draft order, I noticed several teams that I thought might be receptive to our overtures (keep in mind this is a separate issue from trading up or down, only dealing with potentially adding a first rounder). Here they are:

#12 Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks have made a lot of moves in the last few years acquiring veterans (many with bad contracts) to try and stay relevant in the East. If they keep up that M.O., they may not be too crazy about investing in a rookie.

Wesley Matthews, a Wisconsin native, would make a lot of sense in a Bucks' jersey. He would also be popular among local fans. A trade of Matthews for Beno Udrih and the pick would make some sense for both teams.

(Note: I am a big Wesley Matthews fan and would love to see him back on the team. However, if we are going to go with the youth movement, we can't hold on too tightly to a complementary player.)

#13 Phoenix Suns

The Suns and Bucks are in a similar position with not being able to accept the reality of a rebuild. Both teams are also very cost-conscious. They might be willing to part with their pick for money savings (as they have in the past) or a veteran piece to complement Nash.

#16 Houston Rockets

The Rockets have two mid-round picks. They are rumored to be looking to move up, or make a Dwight Howard gamble. But if neither one of those things happen, they probably aren't wild about continuing to add mediocre mid-round talent. They are also looking at being a cap-space team this summer.

Strangely enough, the Rockets' 2nd round picks have tended to have more success than their 1st rounders. A deal of our two 2nd rounders for the #16 would save them money and give them a shot at more 2nd round gems, their specialty.

#17 Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks appear to be putting their eggs in the free agency basket (read: Deron Williams). A swap of this pick for the two 2nd rounders would give them the ability to have more money to throw at Williams and other FAs, while still allowing them to get some young talent.

#18 Minnesota Timberwolves

The Wolves don't really need to add a rookie to their current lineup. They need a shooting guard. A Matthews for Brad Miller (partially guaranteed and retiring) makes sense. Portland gets another pick and extra cap-space.

#19 Orlando Magic

The Magic have sucked so bad at drafting in recent years they might as well save themselves the embarrassment

#20 Denver Nuggets

As a playoff team with so many young, rotation players, the Nuggets don't really need another rookie that badly. Perhaps Victor Claver would interest them, in combination with some other assets like future 2nd rounders. They made out like bandits trading with us last year, so they might as well try again.

#25 Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are pushing the tax already, and have several key free agents to focus on. I would consider them prime candidates for pick-selling.

#26 Indiana Pacers

Unless the Pacers find someone they really like, they don't especially need to add another young player to the mix. They are looking at adding veterans. In addition to their own big free agents (Hill and Hibbert), Indiana is rumored to be after Eric Gordon.

Trading for our 2nd rounders would give them more flexibility in free agency, and would still give them a chance to add young depth and perhaps a draft-and-stash.

What do you guys think?

(Note: For those of you who aren't familiar, 2nd round picks do not have guaranteed contracts and don't have cap-holds like 1st rounders. Trading 1st rounders for 2nd rounders is a strategy that has been used. The Heat enabled their Big Three by doing this in 2010.)

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