The 2019 NBA Trade deadline is still months away, but Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report is already looking ahead to possible moves that didn’t come to fruition this summer, but still might. A couple Portland Trail Blazers guards feature prominently in the article listing one player each NBA team should target by February.
Hughes goes pie-in-the-sky for the Trail Blazers themselves, suggesting they target Minnesota Timberwolves wing Jimmy Butler without trading away Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Jimmy Butler may be unhappy in Minnesota, and although adding him at the deadline creates a risk he’ll bounce after opting out of his deal, it’s possible Portland is ready to gamble. Ideally, the Blazers could build a package around Evan Turner and a first-round pick, but that’ll only work if Butler makes it perfectly clear he’s not going to re-sign with the Wolves.
Since that would be a no-lose situation for Portland, every Blazers fan should respond with at least 33 thumbs up. (No, it can’t happen unless somebody in Minnesota starts snorting pure, unfiltered February snow.)
McCollum does feature in Hughes’ move for the Detroit Pistons. He suggests Detroit could absorb Turner’s contract alongside McCollum’s in exchange for Blake Griffin and Stanley Johnson. That would save Portland a few million in the short term if they weren’t invested in re-signing Johnson.
Hughes throws in a final Portland mention, suggesting that the Sacramento Kings might take on Turner and a first-rounder in exchange for Kosta Koufos and his expiring contract. That deal would take the Blazers all the way down to the salary cap line.
The 2019 NBA Trade Deadline hits February 7th.