The NBA is inching closer to Dec. 15, which is a date that allows for most players acquired in the offseason to be traded.
This could open up the trade market for all 30 teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers, up until the Feb. 8 trade deadline.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley suggested a trade that sends Jerami Grant to the Indiana Pacers.
Jerami Grant to the Indiana Pacers for Buddy Hield, Obi Toppin, a 2024 first-round pick (via OKC, HOU, LAC or UTA) and a 2025 second-round pick
Indiana’s offseason investments in Toppin and Jarace Walker haven’t done enough to fill the franchise’s void at the 4 spot. Dealing for Grant could check that box and potentially put the Pacers in the shadow-contender class.
He would likely not only slide into the second scorer role behind Tyrese Haliburton, but Grant would also boost Indiana’s 28th-ranked defense with length, athleticism and versatility.
This is a trade that makes a lot of sense for the Pacers, checking off a few boxes for them. But does it make sense for the Blazers?
Not only does Portland get a first-round pick, but it also gets two potential rotation players in this presumed deal. It would be intriguing to see if the Blazers would be interested in Jarace Walker, the No. 8 overall pick in this year’s draft.
Walker has only averaged 8.2 minutes per game, a number that would be very different if he played in Portland. He likely won’t see too much opportunity this year for the Pacers considering they are a playoff contender and Obi Toppin, who the team acquired in a trade shortly after drafting Walker, taking the power forward spot in the starting lineup.
Walker is a more intriguing piece for the Blazers to build around and has a higher ceiling than Toppin. If that costs Portland that 2024 first-round pick likely to come at the end of the first round, it may still be worth it considering the lack of depth in this upcoming draft class.