With the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching, one team to watch could be the Portland Trail Blazers. Although they aren’t currently the favorite to land New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis, the situation is still one to monitor. Rumblings have started that the Blazers could be an option for Davis as well as Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin.
After Davis requested a trade from the Pelicans, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders cited the Blazers as a dark horse team who could make a run at him.
“A dark horse in all of it might be the Portland Trail Blazers. Leagues source have labeled the Blazers as being aggressive in trying to find one more star-level guy to pair with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Given the youth, ending contracts and future picks the Blazers could offer, they could be an interesting option, especially if it does not cost Lillard or McCollum.”
It’d be tough to envision a deal for Davis not costing them either Damian Lillard or CJ McCollum, but we’ll see if that’s possible. With that said, Griffin could also be an intriguing name to watch, and while he’d still cost a lot to land, it likely wouldn’t be quite as massive of an offer required.
Let’s take a look at the top potential offers the Blazers could make for Davis and Griffin ahead of the February 7 deadline.
*All deals are created with ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.
Massive Anthony Davis Deal With CJ McCollum
*Blazers send two first-round picks to Pelicans
I tried my best to keep McCollum out of the deal, but it just doesn’t look like anything remotely close to an acceptable deal. Any offer that didn’t include either Lillard or McCollum but had Davis in it was just far too lopsided. Beyond that, Jusuf Nurkic was an obvious must-add in any potential deal. I also added Nikola Mirotic and his expiring deal as a way to bolster the Blazers’ immediate outlook.
With Davis and Mirotic joining Lillard, this starting five would be arguably one of the best in the NBA. Much of the overall success would come down to how Seth Curry does stepping in as a starter, but he’s flashed a decent amount of upside at points this year.
As far as the draft picks go, the two first-rounders are probably non-negotiable, but with the talent on Portland’s roster, they’re going to likely land at the end of the round.
Blazers Keep Lillard & McCollum Out of Blake Griffin Deal
*Blazers send a first-round pick and 2022 second-round pick to Pistons
This is more of a pick-heavy trade with Nurkic as a centerpiece. While Nurkic has emerged as a very good player, he’s not on the level of Griffin. The two picks could be a bit overkill, but the pieces added alongside the Blazers big man aren’t massive selling points. With Curry on an expiring deal, it decreases his trade value, and while Evan Turner has shown playmaking ability, it’s not enough to make him a “great” trade asset.
Regardless, the two picks help make the deal better for the Pistons, especially considering the 2022 draft is the expected “double draft” with high school players likely able to enter. There are a few ways a potential Griffin trade could work for Portland, and also options to bolster the overall trade as well if the Blazers chose to try to go that route.