With the NBA trading deadline two weeks away, the rumor mill is picking up speed. According to an article written by Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Portland Trail Blazers are one of the most active teams in the trade talks ahead of the February 10 deadline.
Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum is one of the most highly anticipated players to have on hand on the market. Fisher said the New Orleans Pelicans have the package most likely to lure a nine-year veteran away from the Pacific Northwest.
The destination most associated with McCollum was New Orleans, which could reasonably handle Jonas Valanciunas and Josh Hart. That would give the Blazers an alternative position for Norkic, a powerful veteran Hart shareholder who is creeping into Portland under taxes. It looks like the Pelicans would be more than willing to dump Thomas Satoranki and Jackson Hayes on Valencionas.
Whether Portland decides to build the tank to secure a lottery pick or fight for a watershed point, the team’s primary mission remains to avoid the luxury tax. This means that Norman Powell, Joseph Nurkic and Robert Covington are also potential business candidates. Some may doubt whether Blazers interim general manager Joe Cronin has the ability to alter the roster and ditch the valuable pieces. However, Fisher wrote that Cronin is more than capable of making big swings.
For those wondering if interim general manager Joe Cronin has an agency to make a move like McCollum’s trade, just take a look at what he actually did. The CEO has already appointed and terminated several personalities to Portland’s basketball operations, including the scouting division, public relations and medical teams.
When Cronin asked for permission to interview Andre Patterson, former CEO of Cavaliers, the job offer came a day later, sources told B/R. Patterson will have significant input into the Blazers draft and free agency planning as assistant general manager, with staffing appreciated. . This Portland kernel clearly has the authority to trade the key parts of this list.
Portland is part of a crowded race of suitors looking to strike a deal with the Indiana Pacers. Fisher reports that the price Indiana has asked for the top men Dumantas Sabonis and Miles Turner is still higher than most teams are willing to let go. However, Portland is still a viable destination for Turner, especially if his injury brings his asking price down.
The Blazers may still make sense for Turner. The addition of the position could strengthen Portland’s front field next season and also help the Blazers in their lottery placement this season if his injury persists. However, there is a growing possibility that Turner will remain in Indiana beyond the deadline before the Pacers engage in commercial initiatives that come the time of the draft.
Besides New Orleans and Indiana, there are other Portland business partners rumored to be, such as the Detroit Pistons and the Utah Jazz. Fischer said Portland has emerged as one of the top candidates for Pistons forward Jeramy Grant, a deal that could require Portland to ditch Powell. While the jazz band has expressed interest in Covington, Fisher said a deal between the two teams appears “unlikely”.