The February 9th NBA trade deadline is fast approaching. For teams in limbo and without a clear vision, the temptation to make moves with a more long-term outlook could potentially be in play. In considering all 30 franchises’ situations on a team-for-team basis, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report listed the Portland Trail Blazers as one of the teams that should look to “sell” at the Feb. 9 deadline.
Holding a 23-25 record, the Blazers find themselves in the proverbial “no man’s land” — not great enough to compete for an NBA title, but not flawed enough to truly contend for that franchise-altering No. 1 pick — and thus, will have all eyes on them throughout the two-week lead-up to the deadline. By Favale’s definition, they would be better moving “at least one notable player.”
Favale hits on a popular viewpoint among some Blazers fans, in that given Damian Lillard’s age and contractual timeline, that they might have a case to be “buyers,” before acknowledging, perhaps, the more realistic result:
“Portland owes a first-rounder to Chicago that’s lottery protected through 2028, so it can’t officially guarantee a pick without adjusting the terms of this obligation. Anfernee Simons is a blockbuster magnet on his own, but what’s the move you’re making to certifiably improve your title odds while shipping out no worse than your third-best player?
Shaedon Sharpe retains his bounce-house, could-be-anything glister, but the same limitations that apply to Simons come into play here. You’re not moving him independent of a mega-blockbuster acquisition.
Sitting tight is probably OK—provided the plan is to pay Jerami Grant and Josh Hart (player option) in free agency.”
A different article from Bleacher Report, posted on Tuesday, noted that the Blazers had zero intention to tank the 2022-23 season.
As it currently stands, the Blazers have worked hard to tread water around the .500 mark; they’re sitting at No. 12 in the competitive Western Conference. Even so, they remain just 5½ games out of a top-three spot out West. That potential volatility further amplifies the importance of each game leading into that deadline date, and the ambiguity that accompanies these discussions.
Should the Blazers be buyers, sellers, or stand-pat people at this year’s deadline? What are your thoughts?