As we approach the eleventh hour before the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline, the Portland Trail Blazers have yet to make a move, which still begs the question: Should management divert and pursue draft stock for the future?
The fans have spoken.
The majority of those polled favored the pursuit of a marquee player over a hoard of draft picks. However, this was by a slim six percent margin.
Seemingly the only perennial All-Star on the market — Kyrie Irving — has just been taken off the shelf in a trade to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and a collection of future picks.
Still, many of the top shelf names are still in the proverbial aisles. Outside of the untouchable Damian Lillard and Jerami Grant and barring a deal for Anfernee Simons or Shaedon Sharpe, any other Blazers player dealt likely won’t yield a big name.
Management will have to assess which lane — pursuing win-now talent or compiling assets the way of draft picks — is more conducive to establishing a winning roster, even if that means not saving this season. This upcoming draft class is expected to be peppered with talent. Particularly, the lottery will be headlined by Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson, forecasting potential comparison to the 1984, 1996 and 2003 NBA draft classes which fielded franchise-changing talent. As it stands, Portland would fall in the lottery, priming them for at least one coveted pick and the opportunity to land another if cards are played correctly.
Additional second-round picks for the rest of the decade wouldn’t hurt the Blazers, but players that can change an entire franchise are a dime-a-dozen from picks No. 31 on down, justifying sentiments of those who participated. Let us know what you’d like to see done within these next five days and counting.
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