The Trail Blazers are headed to trade deadline negations with what appears to be a limited pool of assets. With deadline on the horizon, HoopsHype’s Yossi Gozlan detailed the hurdles that Portland could face in trade talks.
After discussing which direction the Blazers could go after a 21-14 start, Gozlan detailed the perceived assets that Portland could put into a trade.
With Nurkic out most of the season, he will miss out on an incentive that will open up a little more wiggle room below the luxury tax. They are $1.9 million below it, giving them some flexibility to take on a bit of salary. If they do want to make a significant trade, the salaries of Rodney Hood ($10 million) and Zach Collins ($5.4 million) could be involved. The only draft picks they could offer in a trade this season are their second-round picks in 2022, 2026, and 2027, and a Hawks 2024 second-rounder.
Both Hood and Collins have endured significant injury setbacks in the past two seasons. Hood, who has appeared in 30 games this season, suffered an Achilles injury that derailed his 2019-20 campaign. Collins, who is set to enter restricted free agency in the 2021 offseason, has been sidelined off and on with a combination of shoulder and ankle injuries since the conclusion of the 2019 postseason.
The Blazers’ lack of flexibility with draft assets is tied to the pick protections associated with the second first-round pick that the Rockets received in the Robert Covington trade.
You can read the full assessment from Gozlan at HoopsHype.