A week ago, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks. This transaction effectively started the trade season and has gotten everybody talking about what possible deals their teams could make to improve them or give them good odds for a high pick in this June's draft. While there have been many rumors with the Blazers so far, I've been thinking about who the Blazers could get in a deal if they traded away Allen Crabbe.
I know Crabbe's a tough guy to talk trades with as he has his trade kicker and cannot be traded without his permission, but I thought of two situations that could make both sides happy. Crabbe is still a great piece for this Portland team as he comes off of the bench and hits 44% of his threes, but we have learned that the Blazers do not need another scorer off the bench as they have Evan Turner; what the Blazers really need is a defender (or two). While Crabbe seems like a huge offensive boost off of the bench, the stats say otherwise. While Crabbe is on the floor, the Blazers have an offensive rating of 103.4, when he is off the floor the team has an offensive rating of 111.4!
The first trade proposal is with the Toronto Raptors. In this deal the Blazers would be giving up Crabbe and a first round pick for Corey Joseph and Terrence Ross. Terrence Ross would be making a homecoming as he was born in Portland, and Joseph would add a solid reserve guard that is playoff tested. Crabbe would be going to a great situation in Toronto where he would be in the playoffs and could play a huge roll down the stretch with his shooting abilities. To add a more statistical element to this, Ross has a defensive rating of 104.9 which is about the same as Aminu who many consider to be the Trail Blazers best defender. Ross also shoots 37.8% from behind the arc which would be the 5th best mark on the team. Cory Joseph is a player who can score consistently and play solid defense in limited minutes. He is a veteran and has much more experience than Shabazz Napier. Joseph shoots 40% from three and has an offensive rating of 115. If the Blazers were to make this deal, they would be giving up efficient and reliable bench scoring for a stronger defense and experience. At this point of the season this is a trade-off that many would take because of how bad the Blazers perimeter defense already is. If you were the Raptors, would you take this deal?
The other proposal would be between the Blazers and the Sacramento Kings. The Blazers would give up Allen Crabbe, Jake Layman, and a second round pick for Ben McLemore, Kosta Koufos, and Georgios Papagiannis. The Kings would also be gaining more minutes to develop their young bigs with tons of potential. Earlier today I saw a report on ESPN that Ben McLemore and Arron Afflalo were on the trading block. This made me consider a deal where the Blazers could get a wing with a lot of potential and a rim protecting big who has chemistry from C.J from high school. First of all, Papagiannis and Layman were thrown in just to balance out the salaries, the cornerstone of this deal for Portland is Ben McLemore. The Blazers are very good at developing young players (i.e C.J, Crabbe, Leonard) and McLemore has all the potential to be a home run; he is just a few years removed from being a top-7 pick! McLemore may look average on paper, but you also have to consider that he barely plays in Sacramento. In Portland we could bring him in with Turner and experiment. I learned last night that that while many think the Blazers interior defense is terrible, they are ranked 2nd in the lead in opponent shooting percentage at the rim. With that being said, adding Koufos would not hurt this team, and would give them a solid, defensive-minded big to come off the bench. He has a defensive rating of 105.2 which can make up for Plumlee's rating of 112.2. Overall, Koufos is averaging Zaza Pachulia numbers which almost put him in the all-star game. For a big coming off the bench, that is all the Blazers need. This trade would be perfect for both teams. The Blazers would get a projet who is on an expiring contract, a rim-protector, and a flier on a guy with potential. The Kings could get a shooter and more minutes to develop their players. The only problem would be if Crabbe would accept a trade to go into a hot mess in Sacramento right now. If you are Vlade Divac, is it worth it to give up on McLemore to get a player of Crabbe's caliber?
It's always fun to play the trade game, but at the end of the day it comes down to Neil Olshey and the front office. To be frank, this Blazers team does not have a lot of tradeable contracts so the options are pretty much Crabbe and maybe C.J (although he is on a very bad contract trade-wise). Hopefully the Blazers make some sort of deal and turn their season around, but if not is drafting in the top fifteen really the worst thing in the world?
*All stats found on the stats.nba.com
*All these moves were verified by the ESPN Trade Machine