NBA trade rumors are starting to heat up in advance of the NBA Trade Deadline for 2022, which falls on February 10th. Forward Robert Covington of the Portland Trail Blazers has officially hopped on the carousel, linked to multiple teams: the Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, and perhaps Milwaukee Bucks.
Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype discussed Covington’s prospect in the latest edition of their podcast, part of a sweeping trade deadline discussion. Covington talk came in around the 18:55 mark of the show:
Scotto: Several teams have called to express interest in trading for Robert Covington, including the Utah Jazz, as Marc Stein first reported, the Minnesota Timberwolves, Cleveland Cavaliers, and others have also reached out, league sources told HoopsHype.
Gozlan: I’m sure there are a lot more teams that are pursuing him. He’ll probably be a domino effect of a Jerami Grant trade and potentially other forwards like Harrison Barnes or Marcus Morris. Any team that is interested in those guys and strike out will probably go after Covington. Utah is a team I can see going after Grant but could probably get Covington for a lot less. Milwaukee is another team I can see trying to get him for the vacated PJ Tucker role.
The 31-year-old forward is averaging 7.7 points and 5.6 rebounds, shooting 39.0% from the field and 35.1% from the three-point arc in 29.3 minutes per game this season. He is in the final year of a contract that pays him $13 million.
The Blazers are approximately $3 million over the luxury tax threshold. Finishing the season above that line would put them in danger of paying repeater tax rates next year. Before the season started, pundits were forecasting a mid-season, salary-saving deal should the team not jump to elite status. Covington is one of the likeliest candidates on the roster for such a move.
The Blazers traded Trevor Ariza, Isaiah Steward, and their 2021 first-round pick to the Houston Rockets to acquire Covington in 2020.