With the NBA trade deadline swiftly approaching, Bleacher Report’s Grant Hughes wrote about the best case scenarios for every team, including the Portland Trail Blazers. For the Blazers, Hughes wrote that while the most discussed move has always been trading away CJ McCollum (he’s due almost $57 million over the next two seasons), the more prudent move for Portland would be getting cap flexibility next season. He suggests an Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard deal with Sacramento for Iman Shumpert and former Blazer Zach Randolph:
The Blazers could send Evan Turner and Meyers Leonard to the Kings for the expiring deals of Zach Randolph and Iman Shumpert. The price for cap relief of this magnitude would be a first-rounder going to Sacramento, a team with $11 million in cap space and that should also be willing to take on 2020 money for a draft asset.
Hughes argues that as long as Portland is willing to lose a pick to the Kings it could provide some salary cap relief without damaging a 2019 playoff run:
If Portland is willing to shed a pick, this deal would have a negligible effect on a 2019 playoff run while creating a bit of flexibility for next season. Shumpert would be an upgrade over Turner, particularly from a spacing perspective. Despite slumping recently, Shump is still shooting 36.1 percent from beyond the arc. Turner’s at a tidy 29.5 percent for his career, and he’s much worse than that this season (16.7).
Eric Griffith here at Blazer’s Edge recently wrote about how Turner and Leonard’s trade value is the worst among Blazer players because of their large contracts. Turner is owed over $18 million next year while Leonard is owed over $10 million.
Hughes calls this the Blazers’ “best-case scenario” at the deadline, while realizing that not every team is going to trade for Anthony Davis.
Do you think Portland should pursue a salary dump at the deadline? Let us know in the comments.