Blazers Will Shift Focus To Trade Market

News broke earlier today that the Pacers intend to match Portland's offer to restricted free agent from Roy Hibbert, effectively taking the big center off the Trail Blazers' radar and off their projected salary cap. Indiana's decision leaves the Blazers with plenty of financial flexibility, even if they match Minnesota's offer sheet to Nicolas Batum. However, GM Neil Olshey tells Jason Quick of the Oregonian (Twitter link) that the Blazers expect to turn from the free agent market to the trade market if they can't sign Hibbert.

Even with Hibbert and Omer Asik headed elsewhere, options like JaVale McGee, Chris Kaman, and others remain available in free agency. But Olshey views the search for a free agent center as "Hibbert or nothing," telling Quick that he doesn't want to hamstring the organization with $7-8MM contracts for free agents that won't move the needle (Twitter link).

Besides being used on free agents, the Blazers' cap space can be used to execute an uneven financial trade with a team that wants to shed salary, and Quick expects the team to acquire a center using this route (Twitter link). Depending on the amount of Shawne Williams' contract buyout and a handful of other factors, the Blazers could have about $15-20MM in cap space to facilitate a deal.


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4 thoughts on “Blazers Will Shift Focus To Trade Market

  1. jwsox

    noah could be and should be had for some picks…the bulls need to change things up and with them matching asiks offer, for some reason, they will need to move someone….

  2. K-Hopp

    If we can’t get Hibbert, then I’d like to do a sign-and-trade with Batum for Derrick Williams and a 1st rounder. Would Minnesota be willing to part with that package in order to satisfy Kevin Love?


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