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Pundit Suggests Centers as Trail Blazers Trade Target

Journeyman centers may be valuable to Portland, but there’s a hitch.

Chicago Bulls v Boston Celtics Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers currently sit 11th place in the NBA’s Western Conference with a 19-22 record, having lost 8 of their last 10 games. This recent play has led to many calling for a trade to shake up the roster.

This week Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report had suggestions for the Blazers in his Updated Trade Targets List for Every NBA Team.

The Blazers are listed in the article as possible new homes for San Antonio Spurs guard Josh Richardson, Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond, and Detroit Pistons center Nerlens Noel.

While the Blazers have made a huge leap defensively this season (29th up to 16th), adding another stopper on the wing or rim protector behind Jusuf Nurkić would help Portland climb towards the top 10.

Richardson is averaging 11 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and shooting 35.6 percent from three and can defend both shooting guards and small forwards. He’d be a strong sixth-to-eighth man in the rotation.

Drummond leads the NBA with a 28.5 total rebound percentage this season, and Noel could provide Portland with a true rim protector off the bench.

The Blazers are good, but they are still a piece or two away from being a lock to even make the play-in tournament this season.

Swartz did not list possible trades for the three players, just that they should be targets for the Blazers. Richardson and Noel are making about $12 million and $9 million annually, respectively, making their contracts somewhat difficult to trade for. Comparable contracts on the Blazers to make those trades work would be Josh Hart for Richardson, or Gary Payton II for Noel.

Drummond is making just over $3 million per year, making his contract slightly easier to acquire. That figure puts him in the range of players like Justise Winslow or Keon Johnson for salary matching in trades.

Richardson, a 6’5 shooting guard, currently averages 11.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 32 appearances for the Spurs, playing 23.0 minutes per game.

Noel, a 6’11 pivot, has averaged 2.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, and 1.1 steals in 11.2 minutes per game over 11 appearances for the Pistons this season.

Drummond, a 6’10 center, has played in 34 games for the Bulls, averaging 6.2 points and 6.8 rebounds (2.2 offensive) in 13.5 minutes per game.

What do you think about these trade targets? Let us know in the comments below!