Across the league, NBA insiders view the Portland Trail Blazers as a potential trade partner to watch this offseason. After making three trades over a six-day span in early February of last season, the team both showed their willingness to deal, and found new assets. In HoopsHype’s 2022-23 Trade Value Rankings, Blazers of both the past and present made appearances along the Top 100.
Six-time All-Star Damian Lillard commands top billing as the top-ranked Blazer at No. 15. The rationale is that the Portland guard would been even higher if not for the injury-plagued “down year” he had in 2021-22:
After over a year of speculation on his future as the Blazers traded everyone around him, Lillard still remains committed to the organization. He probably would’ve been several spots higher on this list last year after coming off a career season last year, and he could go down further if he signs the maximum extension he will become eligible for this offseason.
Lillard leads a number of current Blazers, including burgeoning combo guard Anfernee Simons (No. 71), Josh Hart (No. 97), and Jusuf Nurkic (No. 99).
The HoopsHype staff had an interesting assessment on Hart; despite averaging 19.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game on 50-37-77 percentages in his first 13 games as a Blazer, his cap-friendly deal makes him a potential anchor in a trade:
Hart could be on the move again with Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons looking like Portland’s backcourt going forward. They could use his team-friendly salary to facilitate a deal for frontcourt help.
In comparison, they spoke more glowingly about Simons’ chances of wearing the black-and-red threads going forward:
Simons would’ve been higher on this list and gotten more consideration for Most Improved Player had his season not gotten cut short by an injury. He is now entering restricted free agency and seems like a good bet to return to Portland on a lucrative long-term deal.
The list of Blazers finishes with Jusuf Nurkic taking on the penultimate spot at No. 99. His situation will be similar to that of Hart, where a mixture of production, consistency and a cap-friendly contract could make him, once again, a topic in swap talks.
Nurkic probably had a lot of trade value over the past few years because of the team-friendly contract he was on. He should still carry some solid trade value even on a higher annual salary.
Outside of them, many ex-Blazers headlined the Top 100, with players such as CJ McCollum (54) and Gary Trent Jr. (76) taking on respectable spots. Many of the players the Blazers have been linked to across the league — think John Collins (65), Jerami Grant (73), Miles Bridges (84) and OG Anunoby (85) — were listed as well.