The Trail Blazers are facing an uphill climb in regard to stabilizing their payroll, giving President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey the cumbersome task of finding a trade partner who is willing to absorb a substantial amount of money. According to a source unearthed by RealGM’s Keith Smith, Portland is willing to include one of its three first round selections (15, 20, 26) in the upcoming NBA Draft in a trade that would potentially move an unsavory contract.
Source: Portland Trail Blazers may attach 1 of their 3 1st round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft to shed a contract and save on Luxury Tax.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) May 31, 2017
It is unclear who Smith’s source is, but it is no secret that Olshey is facing some serious decisions this offseason. The Blazers have already indicated that they will part ways with Festus Ezeli’s partially guaranteed contract in an attempt to save money, but that move alone will not get Portland in position to dodge a hefty luxury tax bill.
Portland’s money predicament isn’t lost on Smith, as he followed up his original tweet with the reasoning behind Olshey’s willingness to include a draft pick in a future trade.
POR has both a bloated cap sheet and is facing a stiff tax payment and faces a roster crush. Thus, willingness to discuss attaching a pick.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) May 31, 2017
The Blazers have the potential to significantly reshuffle their roster this offseason, and the first step in that process will come on draft night (June 22).