The NBA trade deadline is a little less than three days away and the trade rumors have been rampant as of late. With many teams now expected to make season-altering moves, we could see some major shakeups in the NBA standings very soon. One team that many expect to at least test the waters of the trade market is the Portland Trail Blazers. After a very rocky start to the season, the Blazers have clawed their way back into the playoff as they currently sit as the 9th seed in the Western Conference.
This successful stretch that they are on is due in part to historic play from Damian Lillard and it would be wise by them to make a move as they look to make the playoffs. Here are four last-minute trades that the Blazers could look to make.
Covington is a player that has been in trade rumors since the beginning of the season and is someone who is expected to be moved. Covington seems to be the one player that the Blazers are missing and his combination of size, shooting, and defense would improve this team and his contributions are drastically needed.
A potential trade would be Robert Covington and Jake Layman in exchange for Trevor Ariza, the Blazers’ 2020 first-round pick, and multiple 2nd round picks. Covington adds another 3-D player to the Blazers and would become their 3rd most impactful player. Looking at the Wolves, this season will be a dud and these added picks could get them a potential cornerstone piece in this draft or be used in another trade.
Ibaka is an impending free agent and with the recent emergence of Chris Boucher, he looks to be expendable. After a slow start to the season, Ibaka has picked up his play and if the Raptors were to move him, he should get them a nice haul.
A potential trade would be Serge Ibaka and Patrick McCaw for Hassan Whiteside and Anfernee Simons. Ibaka would be an immediate upgrade over Hassan as he would improve the paint defense and open up the offense more with his shooting abilities. Ibaka is a free agent at the end of this season so the Raptors getting someone with Simons’s skill set would just be the icing on the cake.
LaMarcus’s career is slowly coming to an end and it would be wise for the Spurs to move on from him. L.A. has had a good season so far, posting averages of 18.9 points and 7.5 rebounds on 50.8% from the field. With the Spurs 4 games under .500, this may be the end of their historic streak of making the playoffs. It is time for them to rebuild and they could get a jump start with this trade.
A potential deal would be LaMarcus Aldridge in exchange for Hassan Whiteside and a top-20 protected first-round pick. L.A. would drastically improve the spacing on the Blazers and with both Nurkic and Collins hopefully nearing their returns, the loss of Whiteside shouldn’t be too impactful. Looking at the Spurs, this trade allows you to get out of L.A.’s contract a year early and if they don’t get the pick this year, it would become unprotected in the following year when the draft class is expected to be much improved.
Love has been connected to the Blazers for much of the season and the Blazers would have to muster up a good trade package to pry him away. Kevin Love has been in trade rumors for most of his career but, this year seems a lot different. After voicing his frustrations and throwing a tantrum on the court, the Cavs were actively looking to move Love.
Since then, discussions have simmered down and it looks as if Love will not be moved before the trade deadline, according to Bleacher Report. Now, Love isn’t an intriguing asset, but his skill set could take the Blazers to new heights.
A potential trade would be Kevin Love and John Henson for Hassan Whiteside and Zach Collins. Love’s shooting and rebounding should drastically improve the Blazers’ offense and John Henson would be a nice replacement from Whiteside with his defensive abilities.
This trade allows the Cavs to get out of Love’s enormous contract and Collins could turn into a nice rotational piece for the Cavs. Whiteside could be traded once again by the Cavs or released and have the ability to sign with any team he wants.