Over the next several weeks, the Portland Trail Blazers will be fielding calls and holding a lot of cards ahead of the league’s trade deadline.
The Blazers have seven expiring contracts ahead of this offseason, along with CJ McCollum, and could go in either direction as a buyer or a seller with Damian Lillard’s injury and the team sitting on the edge of the play-in tournament and lottery.
Here’s one trade each team in the Southwest Division could make with the Blazers:
Mavericks receive: Robert Covington, Tony Snell
Trail Blazers receive: Trey Burke, Dorian Finney-Smith, Sterling Brown, 2022 second-round pick
The Mavs have been playing some of the league’s best defense as of late, but they are still looking for possible upgrades, including Robert Covington.
Covington’s $12.9 million salary will be difficult to deal, but this trade could make sense for the Blazers. Adding Dorian Finney-Smith, who is set to hit free agency this summer, along with Sterling Brown and Trey Burke, might not be the best package out there for Covington, but it gives them some value for Covington before he likely walks this summer.
Rockets receive: Jusuf Nurkic, 2023 first-round pick (Lottery Protected), 2025 first-round pick (Top 10 Protected)
Trail Blazers receive: Christian Wood
In this trade, the Blazers take the opportunity to buy, dealing expiring contract Jusuf Nurkic to the Rockets along with two first-round picks for Christian Wood.
While Wood has had some off-court issues in Houston, nobody can deny his talent. He averages over 17 points per game to go with 10 rebounds and would immediately have an impact in Portland’s frontcourt, which lacks a true playmaker.
Wood’s also on the books for next season at a reasonable price just under $14 million, and he could be a true pick-and-roll partner for Damian Lillard when he returns from his injury.
Grizzlies receive: Norman Powell
Trail Blazers receive: Kyle Anderson, Jarrett Culver, 2022 first-round pick (via LAL), 2024 first-round pick
The Grizzlies have been on a tear lately, and acquiring one more piece could make them a true contender. They are looking for shooting help to pair next to Desmond Bane, and Norman Powell fits the bill.
In this trade, the Blazers trade Powell for two expiring contracts in Kyle Anderson and Jarrett Culver, while also grabbing two first-round picks, including a 2022 Lakers pick that figures to land in the Top 20.
Culver is also a player that can see some run to audition for a contract next season. He has a lot of promise as a former lottery pick and he’s just about to turn 23.
Pelicans receive: CJ McCollum, Thaddeus Young, Doug McDermott
Spurs receive: Brandon Ingram
Trail Blazers receive: Tomas Satoransky, Bryn Forbes, Jaxson Hayes, 2022 first-round pick (via SA, Top 10 protected), 2023 first-round pick (via LAL)
This is another trade that is really tough to see happen. But given the parameters of the exercise, it has to be done. It also comes with motivations that all three teams could have.
The Spurs have been linked to Brandon Ingram for a while, so they call the Pelicans to get an asking price. The Pelicans, not wanting to fold completely, call the Blazers to check in on the price for CJ McCollum.
In the deal, the Blazers essentially get two expiring contracts in Satoransky and Forbes while acquiring two firsts and a young Jaxson Hayes, who could show promise in a new situation.
Given how many moving parts there are to this trade, I can’t see it happen. But if the Blazers are truly looking to blow it up, this deal could set them up nicely for beyond the year.
Rip City, what do you think of these trade ideas? Chime off in the comments section below and drum up your own trades!