The Portland Trail Blazers currently sit just outside the eighth seed in the NBA Playoffs, trailing the San Antonio Spurs by a half-game. The team is doing its best to stay afloat during a season that has piled on injuries to key pieces. With Hassan Whiteside and Kent Bazemore both accounting for large and expiring contracts, how Portland’s season continues to shake out will reflect what decisions they make at the trade deadline, Dan Devine of The Ringer writes:
Both have monster expiring contracts—$27.1 million for Whiteside and $19.3 million for Bazemore; shouts to the psilocybin-fueled cap-spike summer of 2016—that Olshey could look to use as makeweights to import talent for a playoff run … or, if Portland breaks the other way, to get out of the luxury tax (currently about $11 million over the line). Failing a big move like that, he could look to shuffle veteran forward Anthony Tolliver for a younger body in the frontcourt, in hopes of adding more size to Portland’s injury-depleted front line.
Kevin Love is a popular big-contract trade target that’s been linked to Portland recently, but Dave Deckard here at Blazer’s Edge explained why that might be a bad idea.
Whiteside is currently averaging 15.8 points, 14 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in 29.9 minutes per game, while Bazemore is averaging 7.9 points and 3.9 rebounds in 25.2 minutes per game.
Will Portland be a seller at the deadline? Let us know what you think in the comments.