Another day, another media outlet suggesting the Portland Trail Blazers trade Josh Hart before the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline.
This time the recommendation comes from Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, who in a recent piece named one player every NBA team should move at the deadline. He named Hart as Portland’s “most expendable player” for two primary reasons: contract situation and possible return.
For starters, he holds a $13 million player option for next season, and he can likely beat that on the open market. His offensive role has never been quite what you’d hope it would be, and there’s only so much he can do defensively as a 6’5” wing with a 6’7½” wingspan. But he’s a great rebounder, a smart player and an asset in the open court.
Second, Portland should be able to fetch something decent for Hart. That might be harder to make happen with Jusuf Nurkić, whom Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer highlighted with Hart as the players Portland is most open to discuss dealing.
Hart has become the most consistent Blazers player appearing in rumors as the trade deadline approaches. Since the beginning of the season, he was tabbed as a likely trade candidate due to the player option in his contract for next season. That chatter has only grown louder in recent weeks due to Portland’s drop in the standings and Hart’s season-long struggles to shoot 3-pointers.
Buckley’s analysis comes just a day after Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reported Portland was most open to trading Hart and Jusuf Nurkic. On Friday’s edition of Jacked Ramsays, our own Danny Marang said he’d be “shocked” if Hart was still on the team once the trade deadline passes.
With just 11 days until the trade deadline, we’ll get the answer about Hart’s future with the Blazers soon enough.