Portland Trail Blazers management have some crucial decisions to make in efforts to improve the roster as the February 9th NBA Trade Deadline approaches. The Blazers are just outside of the play-in hunt as the No. 11 seed in the NBA’s Western Conference, with a 21-23 record. They may need reinforcements to establish themselves as a legitimate threat come spring.
Today TNT NBA Insider Chris Haynes joined the Rip City Radio 620 show to discuss a bevy of Blazers related topics. Among his various insights, he had this to say about Portland’s trade capital and it’s value on the market:
“You look at what they have, you know, you have a young promising talent in Shaedon Sharpe. You look at the assets, there’s teams that would love to have a Josh Hart. He’s somebody who just does it all, does all the dirty work. That’s a very good complementary player for a team that’s contending. Anfernee Simons, you know, you got assets like that,” Haynes said.
“I’m being honest with you. I haven’t heard of any Portland Trail Blazers players being dangled as of right now. That can definitely change as that February 9th deadline approaches, we start hearing more and more. But as of right now I haven't heard any players being dangled.”
Haynes indirectly labeled Hart as the most attractive and pragmatic trade piece on the board. The small forward has been a quick option for the Trail Blazers this season. His 2.8 fast break points per game is tied with Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry, and his 8.3 rebounds are tied for second league-wide among all small forwards. He also is No. 5 in the NBA at his position with seven double-doubles.
Hart is currently under contract at roughly $13 million per year until the coming summer, when he has a player option. Unloading his contract and adding size to the front court may be on the radar of management.
Haynes went on to flex his insider knowledge and let it be known that the Blazers have deemed Simons virtually untouchable moving forward. He interjected by stating that if a roster-shifting move that added talent and experience presented itself, it would be wise of the front office to entertain it.
Simons has the No. 20 PER in the league among shooting guards (15.22) and has been a Top-30 player in the clutch. He’s the best player not named Damian Lillard or Jerami Grant with enough talent to make a difference via trade.
As new rumors swirl every day, we’ll be sure to keep you updated on whatever breaks next.