The Portland Trail Blazers did very well this year to make it to the first round of the NBA Playoffs. They were defeated in five games by the Los Angeles Lakers but showed some promise with superstar Damian Lillard leading the charge. The Blazers are a good team, but they need to make some changes around Lillard to keep him happy. Dame pledged his loyalty to Portland, but at some point, a superstar like himself will get fed up if he’s not competing for an NBA title.
Gone are the days where the Blazers are title contenders because CJ and Dame cannot dominate on both ends of the floor as other superstar duos can. Not to mention, the team struggles on defense and need some changes in their offense as well. The Trail Blazers can acquire three excellent players to accompany Damian Lillard in the starting lineup. By making trades with the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs, the Blazers can acquire Kevin Love alongside LaMarcus Aldridge and Derrick White.
Trade Package: C.J. McCollum for Kevin Love and Second-Round Pick
This is a simple trade for the Trail Blazers, which may be very risky. Love is older than McCollum and is more of an old-school type of player who can’t defend many positions and run the floor. However, he is one of the best spot-up shooters in the NBA and a very effective rebounder. The Blazers must bite the bullet and trade McCollum, who has been a great player for them but isn’t the type of player they need right now.
The Cavs want to move on from Love as he is more of a complementary piece, while McCollum can come in and become the leading scorer immediately. The Cavs need a go-to guy right now, and they can employ a small-ball lineup with McCollum, Sexton, and Garland in the backcourt. This would be a high scoring lineup that can be effective together, and the Cavs need a change in their organization just as much as the Trail Blazers do.
Kevin Love is averaging 17.6 PPG and 9.8 RPG on a very poor Cavaliers team, so he can bring an 18-10 threat every night with the Blazers. McCollum averaged 22.2 PPG and 4.4 APG alongside Damian Lillard, so he can be the main guy for the Cavaliers while they rebuild and give minutes to Darius Garland and Collin Sexton.
LaMarcus Aldridge And Derrick White
Trade Package: Jusuf Nurkic, Trevor Ariza, Anfernee Simmons for LaMarcus Aldridge and Derrick White
Yet another risky move by the Blazers, but one that might pay off. Aldridge is 35 years old and a very old school player who moves like a dinosaur, but he can still score the ball. Aldridge averaged 18.9 PPG this season despite having another “down year”. The Spurs need a clear rebuild, and Nurkic can lead the charge. He is 26 years old and showed he has a very unique skill set that includes rebounding and defending the paint. Nurkic has great court vision and can be molded into an even better player in Gregg Popovich’s system.
Swapping Nurkic for Aldridge gives Portland more scoring, but the key is Derrick White. Portland lose Trevor Ariza and Anfernee Simmons as well, but they will acquire young guard Derrick White. White played for Team USA in the FIBA Basketball World Cup and showed he can be effective on both ends of the floor. White averaged 11.3 PPG and 3.5 APG this season but looks ready to take off. A lineup with Lillard and White in the backcourt improves the team’s defense while also adding some athleticism. Aldridge and Love down low means points in the paint and also spacing for Lillard’s drives, while a rejuvenated Carmelo Anthony can be a more aggressive wing scorer.
The Trail Blazers lineup with Lillard, White, Anthony, Love, and Aldridge would place them in the playoffs with ease. They can play the half-court better than any team in the league, while their superstar Damian Lillard takes over down the stretch of games. It is time for the Portland Trail Blazers to break up their team, and acquiring two former All-Stars and a young player might be the move.