There has been some talk of what trades are available for the Blazers before the February 21 deadline. Many have suggested that Hickson will be traded because the Blazers won't want to sign him to a large contract that he is certain to get. The Blazers need to upgrade their bench as well, this too has been a topic of conversation for trades as well. There is a few problems with this thinking that needs to be addressed.
1. Hickson's contract situation gives Hickson all the leverage in trades.
Hickson is playing like a man possessed on a one-year deal worth 4 million dollars. Because he was re-signed to only a one year deal he has the the power to veto any trade. He currently is on a team that he is playing well over 30 minutes a game and averaging over double-double over the course of the season. Let's just say Hickson is very fortunate to be on a one-year deal on a team that is playing him a ton and maximizing his strengths. Because of this scenario there is little reason for Hickson to allow a trade to happen. There are very few teams that would a) Start Hickson and play him for over 30 minutes a games and b) that are contending for a playoff spot. So tell me why would Hickson leave this team (a sure thing for Hickson) to another team (an unsure thing for Hickson). Hickson wants a large contract extension, and his best way to maximize his offers is to stay in Portland. A sign-and-trade is certainly possible in the offseason, but don't bank on a trade before February 21 involving Hickson.
2. Trades may cripple the cap space that Blazers want to have during the off-season.
This is simple enough logic. The Blazers have approximately 13 million dollars in cap-space to play with during the offseason. Why make a trade when you can add free agents in the off-season that would fit your talent aggregate better? There is more flexibility to add assets in the off-season when you have cap-space than through trades. Obviously a trade for an all-star would be better than adding bench players in the off-season, but this is not a realistic idea either. This Brings me to my next point.
3. It takes assets to trade for assets.
This is something fans have heard from Olshey over and over. His plan is to build assets on this team that would be attractive for other teams to trade for (a la Eric Gordon, Aminu, Bledsoe). Well be patient because there are not a lot of assets on this team that other teams in the league would trade for. You could argue that Barton and Leonard are the most valuable players on the team that the Blazers would trade, but the Blazers are better off developing their players first before selling low. If you were to view our players as simple stocks, than our whole bench is full of penny stocks. The fact is you are not going to get that much value for them because a) most of the players on the Blazers bench are very replaceable, and b) many of the bench players are on their last deal (Nolan, Babbitt, E-Will) or non-guaranteed contracts next year (Jeffries, Price, Pavlovic). Freeland and Claver have not had the season the organization hoped for and as a result will wait until they increase their value with more time in the league. Oh, and the Blazers are not about to trade Lillard, Matthews, Batum, or Aldridge (GM's words-not mine).
4. The Charlotte Pick Cripples any potential trades that Blazers could make.
The Blazers are in limbo with Charlotte possibly getting the Blazers first round pick this year. This puts a damper on any assets the Blazers could offer in a trade because they cannot add their first round pick to any trades that could happen possibly before February 21. The Blazers do have a couple second-rounders in this year's draft as well as rights to a couple of nice Greek players from the Felton sign and trade. Nobody is going to call you for a second-round pick in this year's draft though.
Comment Below and Tell me what you think. Do you see Hickson allowing a trade? Do you think the Blazers make a trade by the deadline?