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Seven days remain for all 30 teams in the NBA to make their moves before the February 9th trade deadline. Several names have been batted around as trade targets, but the Portland Trail Blazers have an off-road option at their disposal: acquiring draft stock.
The No. 11 seeded Blazers have a 25-26 record in the Western Conference. If the season has taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen at any moment in time. This has been one of the most injury-riddled seasons in recent memory. As a result, a once blossoming New Orleans Pelicans team is only 0.5 games above the Blazers as the No. 10 seed — plummeting in a current nine-game losing streak — and Portland remains only 1.5 games out of the No. 5 seed.
Therefore, Rip City may be in too deep to tank for Victor Wembanyama, or any top-five lottery pick at this juncture of the season, seeing they are 11.5 games better or more than the bottom-four seeds in the NBA. But this doesn’t close the door on their ability to siphon draft picks out of other teams in exchange for talent.
Backups like Keon Johnson, Jabari Walker and Greg Brown III are all young pieces that can be flipped for second-rounders or better. Packaging players on the rumor mill such as Josh Hart and Jusuf Nurkic can yield a player in return, to go alongside a first round pick. There are many avenues that Blazers management can go with one week remaining.
Between now and 2026, Portland has one first round pick each year. Between 2027 and 2030, Portland has two first round picks each year. However, they don’t have a second round pick until 2027, as per Sports Illustrated. Therefore we ask you, Blazers faithful and NBA supporters alike: Should the Blazers make serious moves for draft capital?