After coming off an appearance in the Western Conference Finals, nobody knows what to expect from the Portland Trail Blazers this season. With Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and new-comer Hassan Whiteside, the team is certainly capable of winning big.
But with one more blockbuster move, Portland could be the latest team to go over the edge. In a proposed trade by Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley, the Blazers could send Hassan Whiteside, Zach Collins, and a 2022 second-round pick for Kevin Love.
When Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are combining for 46.8 points, 9.9 assists and 5.4 threes on a nightly basis, it almost doesn't matter what happens around them.
But this core could climb to a higher tier if it had a high-level complementary contributor at one of those frontcourt spots. Plug in Kevin Love, who grew up in Oregon, and suddenly Portland would have the spacing and playmaking pick-and-choose partner for the guards who would blow the top off this offense.
In another potential offer, the Pistons would receive Blake Griffin for Hassan Whiteside, Zach Collins, Gary Trent Jr., a 2020 first-round pick, and a 2022 second-round pick.
Griffin authored arguably his most complete campaign in 2018-19. He was one of only eight players to average 24 points, five assists and two triples. His 4.2 offensive box plus/minus shattered his previous best, and his 4.6 box plus/minus matched the second-highest of his career.
Put him in Portland and he'd add another elite shot-creator to the mix, provide an above-the-rim element to this pick-and-roll game and, so long as his shooting holds up, give Lillard and McCollum more room to work. Griffin is a bit more ball-dominant than Love, so the acclimation process might take longer, but the ceiling would sit even higher.
In both deals, the Blazers would get significant star-power in the front-court that would not only ease the pressure off Dame and CJ but would also stretch the floor and open up space for everyone else.
With the Clippers, Lakers, Warriors, and Rockets all primed for long playoff runs, the Blazers need to make a move if they want to truly take advantage of a wide-open league.