With the Portland Trail Blazers’ recent slide, much has been made about this roster’s ability to contend in the Western Conference in years to come. Naturally, that leads to endless trade speculation. With the free agent trading period nearly upon us, ESPN Insider Bobby Marks has put together a helpful Trade Deadline Guide for all 30 teams.
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Starting December 15, most free agents signed during the Summer of 2017 are eligible to be traded. This marks the unofficial “start” of the NBA’s annual trade season. Of course, teams have already been free to trade eligible players, as we have seen with the Phoenix Suns and Eric Bledsoe, and the Philadelphia 76ers and Jahlil Okafor. Typically, however, teams don’t get into the trading spirit until after the new year, as noted by Marks.
Because the trade deadline has been moved up two weeks this season, to February 8, teams could buck that trend to take advantage of lost time. Marks outlined the following things to watch from the Trail Blazers during the trade season:
“Luxury tax: $2.8 million below the line and $5.1 million to send out. Use the money at the draft or now?
March 1 roster buyout: Using roster spot 15 would mean additional luxury tax.
Evaluating the restricted free agents: Jusuf Nurkic, Shabazz Napier, Noah Vonleh and Pat Connaughton.”
There you have it. What would you like to see from the Blazers prior to the deadline? Let us know in the comments!
H/T to reader @ThomasCogswell for bringing this to our attention!