With the Portland Trail Blazers’ relatively quiet offseason, which has been graded poorly by experts, a trade remains the avenue for a major shakeup. Trade talk almost always circles back to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, a backcourt pairing that has been hypothetically broken up dozens (if not hundreds) of times already. Following in that path, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report crafts a trade that centers around McCollum going to the Minnesota Timberwolves for wing Andrew Wiggins:
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Andrew Wiggins, Justin Patton, Tyus Jones, 2019 first-round pick (top-20 protected)
Minnesota Timberwolves Receive: CJ McCollum, Meyers Leonard
The Blazers are banking on Wiggins realizing untapped potential here, and that’s far from guaranteed. But given his age (23), athleticism and proven production (career 19.7 points per game), it’s foolish to think he’s done developing. And if he keeps climbing, he’s potentially a much better fit in Portland as a multipositional defender, electric off-ball slasher and serviceable spot-up shooter.
Patton gives the Blazers another young big with upside, and Jones adds extra playmaking behind Lillard. With McCollum moving out, Portland can attempt to accelerate the developments of Gary Trent Jr. and Anfernee Simons. A similar dynamic could play out up front for Patton, Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan with Leonard following Ed Davis out the door.
Minnesota’s motivation to do this deal stems from wooing forward Jimmy Butler ahead of his upcoming 2019 free agency. Buckley does relent that it’s too “dramatic” for either team to likely want to pursue, but serves as a realistic trade that could pop up if the teams search for a change. You can read more of his proposal here.
Do you like the trade for Portland? Let us know in the comments.