NBA trade rumors are starting to percolate as the 2019 NBA trade deadline nears. Zach Lowe of ESPN says that Portland Trail Blazers are one of the under the radar buyers. By contrast, NBC Sports Northwest’s Dwight Jaynes wrote that a deal before the deadline is not a sure thing for the Blazers. He cites Portland’s front office as one of the more secretive in the league, claiming trade rumors most likely didn’t come from them:
Olshey keeps the doors closed, the windows covered and the phone calls private. The Portland front office is among the most buttoned down in the league. Any “rumors” of deals involving the Trail Blazers most likely didn’t come from the team – and probably aren’t true. In fact, recent speculation concerning trades for Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin were totally absurd.
Jaynes points to the team’s history and current situation to indicate how Portland will operate as the deadline approaches. Sources say that Portland is willing to part with a first-round pick, and Jaynes wrote that they would only do so if a player made that pick significantly less enticing then another player down the playoffs stretch.
Jaynes isn’t confident that the Blazers will make any moves, pointing to the unattractive contracts Portland carries as a reason for teams not pouncing on the opportunity to trade with Portland.
There are still a lot of teams in the hunt for playoff spots that may not be willing at this point to make deals involving their unattractive contracts. It’s too soon for some of them to start dismantling their roster.
Overall, don’t expect the Blazers to make any big moves until next season, Jaynes says, when they’ll have around $37 million in expiring contracts to give out. Though President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey has made moves in the past—two years ago he traded Mason Plumlee to Denver for Jusuf Nurkic. However, that might be too much to expect this season.