The Trail Blazers shipped out two first-round picks and Trevor Ariza for Robert Covington to get their 2020 offseason rolling. Covington, a defense-first forward that has shown he can supply serviceable offense, fit a clear need for the Blazers. Even with that in mind, the price that Portland paid to acquire the Illinois native has some pundits wondering if that price was too steep.
In his league-wide assessment of offseason moves, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley brought up the considerable assets the Blazers traded in exchange for Covington’s services.
The end result is worth it—if Portland didn’t make its move now, the move probably wasn’t coming in time for Lillard—but let’s still acknowledge that the Blazers gave up two first-round picks for a role player. That seems like less than optimal business, even if said role player should fit like a tailored suit.
It is important to note that Buckley mentions Damian Lillard’s prime as a clear justification for the acquisition of Covington.
Along with Ariza, the Blazers traded the No. 16 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and a lottery-protected first-round selection in the 2021 NBA Draft to Houston. In 22 regular season outings with the Rockets last season, Covington averaged 11.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.