The Portland Trail Blazers were one of many teams who took part in the historic February 9th NBA trade deadline, yet their moves have been met with mixed emotions around the league.
Zach Lowe and Chris Herring spoke their peace on the latest Lowe Post Podcast. Lowe in particular had some realistic critiques regarding Portland failing to make a convincing splash that could position another star next to Damian Lillard and salvage the season:
If you are serious about building a contender now, next season, two seasons from now, around Damian Lillard, you have to investigate what you could get for Simons or Sharpe. You have to. Otherwise you’re just banking on hope and luck, which sometimes hope and luck hit, and they know them [Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe] better than we do. They know their likelihood of developing in time for Lillard. I didn’t hear one sniff of them trying to figure out the market for those guys.
The Blazers were able to acquire Cam Reddish, Matisse Thybulle, Kevin Knox and Ryan Arcidiacono in a slew of deals, yet none of these transactions stood out to the panel as difference makers.
Admittedly, no reports surfaced around Blazers management assessing the value of Simons or Sharpe in the trade market. Portland has found themselves in another predicament centered around a ball-centric backcourt that struggles defensively, despite upgrading their front court with the 2022-offseason acquisition of Jerami Grant.
Thybulle impressed with 14 points in his Blazers debut, connecting on four three-pointers in the fifth-highest scoring game of his career. Reddish also performed well in his first game with the team, dialing in 11 points on 57-40-100 splits.
The Trail Blazers will be banking on Reddish becoming the player pundits and fans alike envisioned while at Duke University, in hopes of emerging as a viable two-way third option next to Lillard and Grant. Portland may have to listen to the words of Lowe and see what's out there for Sharpe or Simons in particular, if they are to upgrade their defense or finally land a game-changing center on their way to contending.