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What Could the Blazers Get Trading Jerami Grant and Malcolm Brogdon?

A reader wants to know what a veteran haul might look like.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NBA trade season has come for all 30 franchises, including the Portland Trail Blazers. The February, 8th trade deadline will soon be upon us. The Blazers will likely be sellers in this year’s market, but the state of the team makes nothing certain.

Several Blazer’s Edge Readers are writing in with trade questions and suggestions. We’ll get to many of them in the coming weeks. Today, we’re going to center the Blazer’s Edge Mailbag around a series of questions from one reader, covering the basics.

Part One of the Mailbag asked whether the Blazers will be active at all over the next few weeks. Now here’s Part Two, covering specific trades for a couple of veterans and potential trade partners for same.

What does Dave Deckard think we could yield from a Jerami Grant trade? You pitched us your case to keep him (nobody’s perfect…haha). Now, Dave, it is only fair you give us the juicy stuff and boldly speculate the kind of realistic bounty he would return if we didn’t.

With his contract a big issue, I think taking his salary off our books is something worthy of more consideration than most realize. So, could we expect flexibility, promising young player(s), draft capital? Two out of three?

What do you think about deals sending JG and Brogdon out as a package? The Lakers, Heat, and possibly the Rockets all would be teams that could definitely use both their services.

Travis

Grant, individually, should be an attractive asset to a veteran team needing a bump to contend. He’s a 20-point scorer who doesn’t have to dominate the offense in order to be effective. He’s not a true #1 option, but he can take over the game in spurts. Otherwise he defends decently, shoots the three well, and has a knack for hitting tricky shots. His contract doesn’t outpace his production or prime. There are few reasons to blink when acquiring him.

The trick with the Grant-Malcolm Brogdon package is finding a team with $50 million in spare salary that the Blazers would actually take back.

The classic way to accomplish this would be taking on bad contracts plus draft picks. But Portland would be giving up two of their top four scorers, 37 total points per game. They only average 109 as a team. That’s a huge bite. They’d also be losing two prominent veterans from a team with very few. They can’t receive expiring junk contracts and call it good. Future salary space won’t help if they’re not good enough to attract any free agents with it.

Draft picks are great, but the Blazers are already heavily leveraged into future drafts. Moving their position even further that direction turns speculation into the wrong kind of certainty. NBA rosters are only so big. Portland can’t keep nine rookies over three years. Trading first-rounders down the line is fine, but how many can you move?

With cap space already available (and of middling use) and draft picks aplenty, the Blazers are looking at young players as the prized asset they might still accept. With a roster full of guards, they could really use some frontcourt players.

That’s going to provide the template for any Big Deal. Portland would need to find a partner who could use Grant and/or Brogdon, who’s currently carrying a big, expiring contract or two, and who had vibrant young players to give. If they can’t find that combination, why wouldn’t they just keep Grant for themselves?

I hate to say it, but as you’ve identified, our old friends the Miami Heat tick all of the boxes. They need help. They have a couple of oversized deals on the books. If the Blazers valued Miami’s young players as well, that could be an interesting discussion.

A potential deal looks something like Grant and Brogdon for Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, Jaime Jaquez, Jr., and Nikola Jovic. Throw in minor players on Portland’s side to balance out roster numbers and a decent future pick coming Portland’s way.

The Lakers might love Grant and Brogdon, but they have little to nothing to trade for them. The Blazers aren’t going to want D’Angelo Russell with Scoot Henderson on board already. L.A. doesn’t have a lot of draft picks and their young players are mid.

You also mention the Rockets. Never say never, but to me they’re in No Man’s Land. They don’t have the fungible salaries to take on Brogdon and Grant together. But neither veteran alone would make enough difference to their current fortunes to justify getting. They wouldn’t be interested in sending back premium young players for Grant, let alone Brogdon.

After that it gets tougher. The Celtics, 76ers, and Bucks already have forwards. The Knicks could take on Brogdon or Grant, but probably not both together. They’re a live option. The Pacers and Cavaliers might be too far out of contention, and both would be invested in keeping their young players. Those are the teams to watch from the East.

In the West, the Timberwolves, Thunder, Nuggets, Kings, and Pelicans are probably no’s. The Clippers have the salaries, but don’t have enough young players to send back. That leaves the Mavericks, maybe? They might not want Brogdon, but Grant could help them.

My gut says the needle eye is pretty narrow here. I think the Blazers would be lucky to get a deal done at the deadline that didn’t involve a ton of compromise. Portland would be doing well to move Grant for a decent exchange. Moving both Grant and Brogdon would be above the call of duty.

Thanks for your questions! You can always send them to blazersub@gmail.com and we’ll try to answer as many as possible!