I've been a proponent that the blazer need to get of the continued "rebuild" mold they have gone through every 5 yeas or so.
They acquire decent players, generally through the draft, but never seem to complete the acquisition with other assets (players) which can actually make it to the finals with hopes of winning a ring. Just always coming up short due to the lack of putting it all together.
Having said that, it's my belief that the team is further from competing for a ring then ever. No decent FA will sign with the team for multiple reasons. So a competitive blazer team must be built via trades. Draft picks will generally lead to the best picks leaving after their rookie contract, a continual rebuild process (yes exceptions happen, IE Lillard).
So below is a trade that does work financially and would make the blazers 2 or 3 cheap bench players away from actually competing with any other team: It also addresses the nets needs, to get rid of Simmons, get a scoring PG and a big 5 to take on the likes of the 5's in the east.
Nurk & Simons to Brooklyn - the nets are looking for a PG who can put up numbers and more girth in the middle
Claxton & Simmons to Portland - the blazers are looking for more D, a secondary ball handler in the starting 5 and more speed/athleticism from the 4 & 5
Blazer starting 5:
Lillard - no need to define him
Sharpe - learning, but a defensive asset (can guard 3 positions), will continue to evolve in the half court and can run. Size matters at the SG
Grant - defensive asset (can guard 4 positions), offensive asset as the #2 scorer, is a 3 not a 4
Simmons - defensive asset (can guard all 5 positions), 2nd ball handler, hits the boards, good in the open court
Claxton - defensive asset (can guard 4 positions), hits the boards, athletic & can run
Lilllard & Grant - 45 points, 12 assists, 10 boards
Sharpe, Simmons, Claxton - 45 points, 12 assists, 18/20 boards
Find a couple cheap bigs, a veteran PG & a pure shooter:
Hometown bigs - Love and Leonard - both would come cheap for different reasons, but they provide the 'girth' Claxton lacks against the likes of Jokic
A backup PG - Dragic fits nicely here. Cheap, smart and would spell Dame well
A trade involving Little should get a pure shooter for instant offense off the bench
Throw in the #3 pick somewhere, maybe as the 2nd unit 3 (Miller?)
Dragic, Thybulle, Reddish/Miller, Love, Watford - Leonard & Eubanks are there for the grinds of a regular season
20 points, 5/10 boards, 5 assits
Yes, Simmons is a huge, HUGE, risk but could Dame reel him in?
If so, you've got a starting five of this size:
Lillard - 6'2
Sharpe - 6'6
Grant - 6'8
Simmons - 6'10
Claxton - 6'11
All can run, all (except Lillard) can guard from basically the rim to 30 feet (Billups runs a switching defense)
Think of the 80's Lakers as an example. Not to say that is a spot on example, but this team would get up and down the floor and have pieces which would compliment each other.
And the blazers get to keep the #3 pick.
IMO, only the Nuggets would present this team potential competition. What other team in the west (or east for that matter) could match up with this roster?
** that is if Simmons comes back around to his 2019/20 levels, and again that is a huge question.
It's not complicated, the two nets bring things to the blazers they need. The two blazers bring things which the nets need. And the nets have the incentive of getting rid of Simmons (a new environment may be what he needs under the wing of Lillard).
Risk vs. Reward