The Portland Trail Blazers continue to surface as potential buyers in 2019 NBA Trade Deadline rumors. The latest to take a swing at Portland’s trade prospects is ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who drops hints and references in his NBA Trade Deadline Preview article.
Lowe characterizes the Blazers as interested in multiple players, searching for the right mix of assets to complete a deal. After referencing the Blazers as a “buyer”, he suggests they won’t hold back on draft picks if the deal requires it.
They have put their first-round pick in play, per sources around the league.
Lowe then lists the players Portland could be sniffing around:
They have investigated [Otto] Porter’s availability. Taurean Prince makes some sense; he’s up for an extension this summer, and the Hawks have made him available, sources say. As a free agent non-destination, the Blazers value players whose rights they can control.
But the Hawks are asking a lot so far -- a young player and a pick -- and haven’t gotten much traction on Prince trades, sources say.
Another off-the-beaten path name from Orlando: Evan Fournier -- a wing who could give Portland or some other team some shooting and playmaking. He has two years and $34 million left on his contract; if the Magic aren’t thrilled with that deal, they could suss out his value.
Lowe also mentions Terrence Ross as a potential target and drifts into Aaron Gordon speculation. In that vein, he affirms Portland’s love for their current power forward:
The Blazers love Al-Farouq Aminu. They would aim to keep him. Aminu fits best at power forward -- Gordon’s position. Then again, is there really a difference between a Maurice Harkless-Aminu forward combination and a Gordon-Aminu pairing?
A note of parenthetical interest to Portland fans: Lowe says the Sacramento Kings, the lone franchise with salary cap space at the deadline, is not interested in taking on any contracts that do not expire.
As always, Lowe’s piece includes 434,000 other words about the state of the league, some of which expand on the points above. It’s a must-read deadline primer.