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Portland Trail Blazers Christmas Gifts: Mid-Season Trades

You know what would lift the Blazers into contention? Different Blazers.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Merry Christmas, Portland Trail Blazers fans! Today Blazer’s Edge is celebrating the holiday in the form of the worst Christmas Song ever written. The staff has compiled a list of gifts suitable for the team, and we’re running them down in 12 posts...with not a partridge or a leaping lord anywhere to be seen. We hope you enjoy the holiday and help us reflect on good wishes for the Blazers!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, true fans give to the team...

Mid-Season Trading

This is a call we made in the pre-season and the time has arrived. Portland is carrying expiring contracts on Kent Bazemore and Hassan Whiteside. They have several other trade-friendly contracts to use as ballast. They could wait until summer, let their veterans walk, then try to use cap space to sign Montrezl Harrell or some other mid-high-profile free agent. That’s dicey, both because of the sum they’ll have to offer (under $20 million), their history in free agency (not good), and their current performance (also not inspiring confidence).

If the Blazers can make a move between now and February that bolsters their team for the next three years instead of the next three months, they have to do it. It’ll be expensive; the only difference-makers available will be aging and hold expensive, long-term deals. You know what? The Blazers are aging and hold expensive, long-term deals. They need to make a move now or next summer to make experience and salary cap pay off in actual wins and/or contending for a title. Odds are they’re going to have to move someone rather than just sign someone to make that happen.