The 4 Conditions of a Dream Trade

In order for the Blazers to pull off the unthinkable dream trade, 4 conditions really need to be met as a baseline:

  1. Any trade must appease Damian Lillard as well as the pundits. It has to look like a good trade on paper and one that makes the Blazers a more obvious contender now.
  2. Any trade must bring back a similar quantity of players (roster at 14 now, needs to be 13 players min)
  3. Any trade should look to shed at least $3M in total outgoing salary (for luxury/repeater tax avoidance)
  4. Any trade should look to shed as many expiring contracts as possible (we’re not in a great spot to give more than one expiring player a raise next summer between Nurk, Ant, and RoCo. Therefore any trade should look to package 2/3 of those guys expiring contracts.
With those conditions in mind, who says no to the following 3-team trade?:
  • Blazers receive: Karl Anthony Towns, Jerami Grant (sheds $4.2M)
  • Minnesota Receives: CJ McCollum, Josef Nurkic
  • Detroit Receives: Robert Covington, Josh Okogie, Jake Layman

This pushes Normal Powell to the starting 2 next to Dame with Jerami Grant, Nance, and KAT rounding out the starting 5. I think that starting 5 satisfies #1 and gives the Blazers a much higher ceiling as well as more balanced starting unit. With this trade, the Blazers trade 3 players for an incoming 2 players, giving them 13 players still on the roster, and they would also shed just over $4M in outgoing player salaries to get themselves under the luxury repeater cap (satisfies #2 and #3). Finally this allows us to more comfortably match any offer Ant gets in restricted free agency without worrying about whether or not to continue investing in Nurk or RoCo (two players trending down and who otherwise are starting quality players that we lose in the summer for nothing without a trade!).

Obviously this trade includes 2 other parties so here’s to hoping that the Wolves slide continues and KAT keeps sneak tweeting his way outta there (in which case Nurk + CJ is a pretty solid return). As for Detroit, Grant makes $20M/year with 2 years left and they essentially trade him for 3 expiring forwards, opening up an extra $20M this summer from which they likely keep Okogie for cheaper and continue to build for the future around Cade Cunningham.