5:37pm: The trade is now official, Portland announced in a press release.
1:29pm: The Trail Blazers and Clippers have agreed to a trade that will send swingman Norman Powell and forward Robert Covington to Los Angeles in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson, and Detroit’s 2025 second-round pick, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter links).
It’s a fascinating move for a Clippers team that is currently missing Kawhi Leonard (ACL) and Paul George (elbow). As we relayed this morning, there’s a belief that Leonard probably won’t return this season, while George’s recovery timeline remains up in the air.
However, there’s little reason for the Clippers to throw in the towel on this season. Despite its modest 27-27 record, the club is firmly in the play-in picture, holding the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. Additionally, Los Angeles doesn’t control its own 2022 first-round pick, having sent it to Oklahoma City in the George trade, so there’s no incentive to finish in the lottery.
Powell is a talented scorer and shooter who is averaging a career-high 18.7 PPG in 40 games (33.3 MPG) this season, along with a .406 3PT%. His three-point rate has been at 39.9% or higher in each of the last four seasons. Covington, meanwhile, is more limited on offense and has been inconsistent as a shooter this season (.381 FG%, .343 3PT%), but is a versatile defender with plenty of postseason experience.
Powell, a Southern California native who will reunite with former Toronto teammates Leonard and Serge Ibaka, signed a five-year, $90MM contract with Portland in August, so the Clippers will control him for the long term. Covington will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but L.A. will have his Bird rights, allowing the team to go over the cap to re-sign him.
The Clips already project to be way over the luxury tax line next season, so the club may be reluctant to commit to Covington beyond 2021/22 without moving off another contract, such as Marcus Morris‘. That decision won’t have to be made for at least a few months though. In the meantime, this deal will increase L.A.’s projected tax bill this season by about $19MM, tweets ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
The move will also open up a spot on the Clippers’ 15-man roster, potentially allowing them to promote Amir Coffey from his two-way contract. That had been a goal for the team as it approached the deadline, tweets Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.
It looks at first glance like a modest return for the Blazers, but they’ll get a chance to take a flier on a young prospect in Johnson and will benefit financially from the move. According to Marks, the deal takes Portland out of tax territory for this season.
Moving off Powell’s long-term money and taking back Bledsoe’s pseudo-expiring contract (only $3.9MM of his $19.4MM salary next season is guaranteed) will give the Blazers more financial flexibility going forward and will create more room in the backcourt for emerging guard Anfernee Simons, who is in the midst of a breakout year and will be a restricted free agent in the offseason.
I wouldn’t expect Bledsoe to be part of the Blazers’ long-term plans, but Winslow could stick around beyond this season. He’s under contract for about $4.1MM in 2022/23. Johnson’s rookie contract runs through 2024/25.
Having parted ways with one of their leading scorers and one of their top defensive players, the Blazers will see their playoff odds for this season dip a little. The team currently holds a play-in spot, but only has a 1.5-game cushion on the 11th-place Pelicans and has an underwhelming record of 21-31.
Portland would send its 2022 first-rounder to Chicago if the pick lands outside of the lottery. Taking a longer-term view, the front office – led by interim general manager Joe Cronin – may actually prefer to miss the playoffs, since it would allow the team to keep that first-rounder and would give Damian Lillard more time to recover from his abdominal surgery — it’s a safe bet Lillard won’t rush back from that injury to join a lottery-bound squad for the home stretch.
It’s unclear what this deal will mean for CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, two of Portland’s other top trade candidates. The club still has six more days to continue making trades, but it wouldn’t be shocking if one or both of those longtime Blazers stays put through the February 10 deadline. McCollum is under contract for two more seasons beyond this one, while Nurkic will be an unrestricted free agent in July.
Portland will create a $6.5MM trade exception in the deal, tweets Marks.
110 thoughts on “Trail Blazers Trade Powell, Covington To Clippers”
What!! Looks like a steal for Powell
This trade makes Lakers worse and makes Kings better
Just ignore the bot
As expected Clippers will make trades
I predict that Clippers will make another deal to lower the tax
Looks like a salary dump, Bledsoe only guaranteed $3.9M next year, Winslow $4.1M, and Johnson in Year 1 of rookie deal. Covington a free agent at season’s end but Powell is in Year 1 of a 5 year $90M deal.
Exactly my thoughts
Agreed, Powell was a bad fit with dame and cj in theory, Gary Trent would be a better fit lol, olshey was such a bad gm
Looks like they gave them away, and I dont see how this deal makes the Blazers better next year since all they got in terms of future assets is one young player, and a future second.
How does this help them compete next year with Dame back? Also was this really all they could get for the two players in future value? Just why POR why?
Trade CJ and resign Simmons. This makes them better with Dame healed next year!
How? They didnt free enough cap space to get room for signings. They gave up Powell/Covington for next year, who arent great fits with the current roster, but were useful pieces that you would think were worth at least a little more. They lost 2 players that werent really part of the problem without bringing back anything of future value. KJ hasnt been good yet, and a future second can be bought for a few million.
For next season they added nothing to the team but KJ while subtracting a defensive wing that they will need to replace, and a scorer on a reasonable contract.
The only way it helps them is if moving Powells’ $$ off the books leaves them enough room to extend Simons without paying an egregious amount of luxury tax.
Having said that, this could be the beginning of a teardown as well.
Doesn’t look like, it is a salary dump. Blazers just don’t want to be stuck with the same mediocre roster for the next few years
They owed 4 years $75M to Powell after this season, and only took on $17M after this season, $7M of which is Winslow and Bledsoe for ‘22-23 and $10M is to Johnson for the next 3 years….I am going to stick with it as a salary dump
I guess it’s a tank move.
Yeah, as a Bulls fan, I HATE THIA MOVE FOR PORTLAND!!!
Not only were they trying to get under the tax, but they’re also trying to get a spot in the lottery for next season. This way, they don’t have to fork over their 1st Rounder to the Bulls..
I hope they go on some magical winning streak, and this trade jump starts this team!!! lol
I’m also curious if the Clippers would in turn trade Robert Covington to the Bulls. They can have Derrick Jones Jr. And a 2jd Round pick..
That’ll likely be the best they’ll get anyways from any contending team, so hopefully they’ll take the deal..
Hope all you want, but they just dropped game one post trade to OKC without SGA so…
You take a worse return by getting out of the salary with mostly expiring money. I would think POR problem is less future money and more lack of current pieces for next season.
Can they unload the rest of the roster without taking back much money for next year to free up a bunch of cap space? If they do would this slim FA class let them build an entire roster around Dame with multiple stars? Whats the move from here that makes next season better?
Have you seen the free agents next year?
Theres nothing to make room for
The 2022 FRP from tanking
Room under lux tax = opportunity to add players. Almost all NBA trades involve one team whose primary motivation is salary relief, and this one gives the Blazers a realistic path to trading CJ and doing a quick on-the-fly rebuild around Simons, Nurk, Dame in his last elite years, and a wing they sign with their new-found room. Makes sense.
If anything I don’t get this from the Clips POV at all. Unless they’re gonna go into Warriors territory as far as lux tax goes, they have to dump some salary themselves, and they’re clearly going nowhere this season.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Took me like 6 hours to understand what you’re saying. Sort of like Whiteside Testaverde Foxworthy?
Ummm, I don’t think this is the kind of move Lillard was alluding too in the off-season.
Unless your looking for the type of move that has him requesting a trade by next years deadline LOLS…
LOLs aside that could be the intent?
Hard to believe they couldn’t at least get a 1st for Powell … Meanwhile this is a great trade for LAC.
Unless they really love Johnson. I cannot understand this trade for the Blazers
There has to be a 2nd deal coming, otherwise this makes no sense.
It actually makes a lot of sense from Portlands point of view. Not sure if it makes as much sense for the Clippers.
Portland gets rid of Norman Powell’s contract, which frankly, was a mistake from the beginning (dating back to trading a superior player in Gary Trent Jr for him, and the subsequent overpay). Robert Covington isn’t what he used to be, as a defender or a 3 point shooter. He really has no use to Portland this season, and is on an expiring deal. Norm’s fit with the Blazers has also been questionable. He’s another smallish guard on a team full of them. His defense is okay to sub par, but it isn’t lock down by any means. He is also very streaky as a shooter.
In exchange for dumping Powells inflated contract and securing a mulligan on that deal, the Blazers pick up a 2nd round pick and the equivalent of a 1st round pick (Keon Johnson). I think that’s good value, if not great, for a contract like Powell and an expiring veteran.
I have a hard time seeing how this trade raises the ceiling for the Clippers, this season or for next. Norm is okay, but hes similar to Luke Kennard. Luke is the better shooter, Norm the superior defender. I just think its easier to justify this deal from Portland’s point of view, rather than from the Clippers.
NP is on a good contract for what he does, he just didnt fit well with a backcourt of Dame/CJ. To many short guys on the perimeter. RoCo is an excellent help defender who they kept trying to be a perimeter stopper.
Both players have positive value, but were being misused. Like Powell only makes what 15M next year while putting up 18PPG with 40% 3PT shooting.
Yes. A really good 2nd round pick, btw.
I mean they are open for business on anyone not named Lillard, Little, Simons. I still dont know how this deal is a prelude to something else. I think they could have gotten more for either player by the deadline dealt separately.
Was getting out of the tax really that important? Do we think in dealing CJ they wont have to take back money that wont last to next year? I just dont see a path to getting good value for the remaining player and getting a bunch of cap space to replace them this summer.
On top of that this FA class is trash so what would you really need cap room for?
Salary dump. They don’t want to be stuck paying luxury tax for this mediocre team.
Exactly Iron monger. Makes so much sense for Portland to do this deal.
I like this deal for Portland. They get a 2nd rounder and a good prospect in Keon Johnson (basically the equivalent of a 1st round pick) for Norman Powell, who is signed to an inflated contract, and Bob Covington, who they don’t need. I think Porland wins this deal. Norman Powell really isn’t that good, and they get off that deal, and Covington isn’t what he used to be.
Good deal for the Clips. Without their own 1st’s, tanking is out of the question. They can use this year to set up next year (when KL and PG13 will presumably be back) in addition to trying to make some noise in the playoffs this year. RC’s expiring deal contains Bird Rights. Powell is locked in. Trade chips Johnson and 2nd isn’t much. Of course, they don’t have much, and still need another PG (distributor).
I feel like they may try and trade Marcus Morris for a PG. I don’t see them needing PG, Kawhi, Morris, and Powell next year
Maybe. It would make sense. They have more guys signed (or that they can sign, Bird Rights) for next year than they can even play, let alone need.
Powell being locked in prevents them from acquiring a better player than him, though. I think this is a “gotta do something” type deal for the Clips. Covington is not a particularly useful player anymore (some of the Clips’ young nameless wings are frankly just as good). Powell can shoot a little (but not as well as Morris, whom they might have to deal now) and play a little D, but is small and overpaid. They probably didn’t give up much (depending on how Keon develops and what happens with that pick, which is basically another late 1st) but I don’t see a purpose here at all.
They should trade for Dragic and compete to win. PG and the rest of the stacked team could make the finals imo. injuries can blow the door wide open for them
At this point I would sacrifice the last of Lebron for a chance at Embid it’s about the future now the present is grim
for a chance at Embiid? Embiid ain’t going nowhere.
So once PG and Kawhi get back, does that mean Norman is coming off the bench??
Not sure Norman’s on the team when Kawhi gets back.
Ya it’s possible he gets traded again I guess
couldnt he play PF while Kawhi SF and PG SG
Why in the world would Powell play PF?!?!?!? He is 6’3″! if anything he’ll play SG, PG SF, Kawhi PF. No way he’ll be PF!
Norman and Kennard seem awfully similar as players, and in pay…
Powell is better and more well rounded.
I would disagree, but the point is that it’s close.
I think Norman is a better player and plays better defense than Kennard
That’s fine. But Luke is the better 3 point shooter, and doesn’t make as much. He was also the more heralded prospect, so you can assume he has room to grow. Norm is what he is.
I think they are basically a wash, which reiterates my initial point, which was how does this really help the Clippers..
Exactly. Seems like one of those deals when a team in mediocrity mode with aging, injury-prone stars goes out and gets some veterans with names, and all they do is take playing time from younger guys who are just as good or better, and much cheaper. And dollars are opportunity cost.
New Starting Lineups:
PG Reggie Jackson/Amir Coffey
SG Norman Powell/Brandon Boston Jr.
SF Terance Mann/Nicolas Batum
PF Marcus Morris Sr./Robert Covington
C Ivica Zubac/Isaiah Hartenstein.
PG Anfernee Simons/Dennis Smith Jr.
SG CJ McCollum/Keon Johnson
SF Ben McLemore/Greg Brown
PF Justise Winslow/Trendon Watford
C Jusuf Nurkic/Cody Zeller(Injured)
Injuries: Portland: Damian Lillard, Nassir Little, Larry Nance Jr, Cody Zeller, Tony Snell
LA: Paul George, Kawhi, Jason Preston
Looks good for the most part. Tweaks I see:
LAC would not take Kennard out of rotation, so Boston gets bumped. In Portland, Bledsoe likely gets backup minutes over Smith. Snell is good to go, as far as I know and they may play him as a undersized PF. Think that has a domino effect and may bump Keon Johnson out of the rotation.
Yeah, I completely somehow forgot about Kennard and he will and should get those minutes over Boston; you make a valid point of Bledsoe will get the backup mins. over DSJ, though I still think Dennis will get 8-10 mins per game; Snell was injured a few days ago and I didn’t check if he was still hurt or not tho. I’m not sure wether I would start him at 4 or not, but that is definitely Nances spot once he gets back. If Snell does get those minutes, I do see Keon out of the rotation but if anything happens, he could easily get back to the rotation IMO
Lol that’s such a bad trade for Portland on it’s own. Unless they plan on another move that’s contingent on this one… RoCo could have netted them a 1st on his own. And why are they dumping Powell?
If RoCo could have netted them a 1st, then they would have done that deal. Its obvious nobody was offering a 1st round pick for Covington. He simply isn’t as effective of a defender or 3 point shooter as he used to be, and draft picks in general are highly, highly valued by the league these days.
The funny thing is, this is actually quite a good deal for Portland, and a questionable one for the Clips. However, most people will see the names involved and just automatically conclude the opposite.
No one is giving up a first for Covington. He’s not good anymore. Powell is getting paid too much. It’s getting off a contract early before it gets harder.
RoCos bird rights were worth more than the second. Powell was a better option than CJ contract wise, and his biggest problem was playing pushed to 3 without the size to defend it.
What does this do to help next years squad outside of clearing some of the log jam of Dame/CJ/Powell/Simons being to many undersized guards that cant play D?
They aren’t done. CJ will go next, for an expiring or a deal with one year left. Then off-season after next they get busy, adding around Dame, Simons, and Nurk (and possibly Keon and whomever they draft this year). This is how it’s done when you aren’t in L.A. or NYC and don’t have stars flocking to you for reasons having nothing to do with your organization. Smart move by Portland.
Sorry I completely disagree with you and if that is what they are planning Dame will demand a trade. He gave them a chance last offseason and he’ll be 32 by the start of next year and your saying he’s gonna wait until the year after that? You also are contradicting yourself by saying players won’t flock to Portland and yet they’ll be able to add players in 2 years. I agree that they want to trade CJ but they’ve shopped him this year and the market is weak for him. He’s not a great multi-position player, strictly a 2, not a good perimeter defender, and he’s making over 30mil until 2024. They’ll have to try and get draft picks and maybe swap those for assets. And they are doing all this with an interim GM. After the tone from Lillard last offseason I’m banking he’ll want off this sinking ship. He’s given Portland his best years and they’ve repaid him with bad management. They should have kept his buddy LaMarcus and added talent but they didn’t want to spend. No spending = No title.
How is Powell getting paid too much? Do you think he’s a $10mm/year player? That’s ludicrous.
16mm/year is average starter money, which he is. His bad fit with Dame has nothing to do with that.
RoCo is a wash. The only thing he can do is get near the ball on defense.
What are you smoking? Covington couldn’t get you a 2nd round pick and not a chance in hell he would ever get you a 1st lol
Meanwhile Pelinka just collecting a paycheck as the lakers gm. 3 bench players for 2 starters. Pelinka is the worst gm in the league. Of course buss probably trying to save those pennies.
What can he do? You can’t get anything for minimum salary old guys. All their money is tied up into 3 guys. LeBron shouldn’t have pushed the awful Westbrook trade
It’s Pelinkas job not to listen to Lebron if Lebrons idea stinks. At the end of the day, Rob is the GM.
Yeah salary matching is a b****!
You are way off it’s a superstars league lol
If lebron runs the team caruso would’ve been resigned and dudley would’ve been resigned. Others in front office didn’t want Westbrook.Pelinka pushed for it. He’s running the team like an agent and trying to get the big names. He’s an idiot that has shut the contention window down in less than 2 years
Huh? Bron hated Caruso. Maybe hate is too strong a word, but he wanted him gone.
Looks like the beginning of a restructuring of team to me. With Dame out for awhile. Makes sense to go for that lotto pick. They picked up two younger guys. Keon Johnson has plenty of upside.
I think CJ is next. They can get good value for him. And redo team for next yr.
Clippers doing this for this yr. And it gives them options for next yr. Considering they don’t have a pick.
Dame will ask for a trade they will never win a championship
Odd. A very lateral move for both squads at least this season. I can understand Clips side of this more than the Blazers. RoCo was one of the hottest names on the market. If you weren’t gonna get a first for him alone why not package him with CJ/Nurk? Packaging him with Powell for an early 2nd and dead money seems more like they’re trying to unload Dame at some point.
RoCo was not a “hot” name. Just someone who got talked about because the Blazers obviously had no use for him and he ‘s not a max contract. He’s a washed out vet making a significant salary. Maybe get a 2nd for him, at best.
I don’t disagree but I would say without a doubt RoCo was a hot name being as his name repeatedly got brought up and he got traded. 2 + 2 = ? Was only two weeks ago when any article about the Bulls dropped everyone was begging for RoCo to Chicago.
But if any team actually offered Portland anything for him I’m sure they would have accepted it. His name was being discussed because he was an expiring contract on a team with no reason to make postseason this year and was not resigning with Portland next year so was an obvious trade candidate. I was always hoping they’d get back an expiring making less to get under the luxury and a future pick. That is basically what they got.
Trading for Drew Bledsoe doesn’t make Blazers any better.
This makes Blazers even worse.
Of course. So what? They aren’t going anywhere this year. Neither are the Clippers though.
So that’s an excuse for giving away players for underwhelming returns? Might as well as move Dame for a bag of peanuts. Who cares if the team ain’t winning, amirite?
Yup Bledsoe sucks clippers got bailed out
His money comes off the books next yr. That’s why.
Not the year to Covet money coming off the books
Ida rather used RoCo’s birds (or S&T) then dip my toes into offseason free agency; and if the plan was to get worse the next 1.5 yrs (like this trade does) then you can find better ways to match Powells contract as well in return value Imo
Don’t like it from Por but lets wait to re-analyze in 6 more days
I’m shocked the Blazers did this move. Powell is a great 2 way player on a friendly contract. Powell and Covington combined are their two best defensive players. The bums that they received are contract fodder. It’s obvious the Blazers only care about the luxury tax, AGAIN. If I’m Dame I’m already upstairs requesting a trade. As for the Clippers, this is a steal. They can now be a playoff threat even before getting PG or Kawhi back. Great move for the Clips!
A wise basketball man once said: Don’t try to shed salary in TD deal. You’ll get 50 cents on the dollar.
POR’s FO chief is a temp, and likely had no choice, and besides this may be housekeeping before a CJM deal.
Powell is not a “great” anything player. He’s a useful veteran undersized shooting guard. He’s not even better than the guy whose minutes he’s gonna take, Luke Kennard. At least not by much.
LOL. Undersized SG? If he were a SG, he’d be a big one. Yes, even at 6’3″. It’s never to late to learn something about the sport. If you’re capable of absorbing it, the information is out there.
CJ to the Pelicans next, Josh Hart and more to the Blazers…
CJ is next trade out. Ibaka is next trade out for Clips, likely to Raps.
WTF Portland, lol
Full strength, Death line up of, PG Kawhi Covington Morris and Ibaka to close games.
All defence, three point shooting and floor spacing. Very alpha, hard nosed style team.
Reggie, Norman and Kennard providing the impact scoring. Zubac the impact big man. Plus the likes of Terrance Mann, Nic Batum, Hartenstein and Boston Jr.
Building a very strong team and what makes it funnier the Lakers seem to be doing to opposite with issues on issues.
Not a good move by Por’s Interim office
With it being a sellers market and having some of the most easily moveable contracts in the land I have no idea why you’d want to aim so low 6 days out. You coulda had this deal up to the last minute
There are obv more moves to come but cap space isn’t going to help you next year be better on the court. Getting under this year was never going to be a problem so they don’t get that feather as mentioned above
**Now there was a wide degree of variance on Keon at the draft. Some thought he was a top 10, others a high 2nd rder….I only hope Por was one of those who thought lottery last summer
** Kudos to Ballmer for putting his wallet where his mouth is
Yes, not good. Even if moving below the tax line were the priority (from ownership), they were only 3 mm above the tax line this year prior to the deal. That can be wiped out with a remote 2nd rounder in a small cap space buy. It shouldn’t have been lumped in with the sale of two starter level players, and then with further purchases of cap space in the out years (at this year’s TD prices); something (value) was lost in the process.
Agreed, should be deployed as an * to Portland’s front office today, not a reason to pop champagne (Brut at that) but I don’t see how else they spin it to themselves; and the alcohol would probably be timely
As I reflect more the bigger story here is probably Steven Ballmer’s commitment to the Los Angeles Clippers rather than them getting a nice squeeze on an interning Portland front office.
How a team with no assets just netted this is brilliant albeit expensive. There going to have to do a little hard cap wiggle now moving forward (Even if the don’t pick up RoCo’s birds) but you have to be thrilled if your a Clipper fan with the commitment your getting upstairs. For Lakers fans, this is a small gut punch today seeing how your own front office is running currently
Next step should be to trade McCollum for Porzingis straight up. Their contracts are identical.
POR: Opens up a long term vision of Lillard and Simons in the backcourt. They get a stretch PF/C in Porzingis to compensate for that lost scoring and Portland is dangerously thin in the frontcourt.
DAL: Defensively, Brunson and McCollum would be at the guards and Luka would match up against the SF. Offensively, Luka would be point forward (with Brunson secondary distributor) and have a veteran knock-down scorer in CJ to distribute to. Mavs have depth in bigs. I like shifting Kleber to the C position and going small with Dodo/Bullock at the 4, but could also go with a Powell-Moses Brown combo at center. Would open things up a lot for them spacing wise offensively and allow them to be more versatile defensively.
Nurkic for a 2nd round swap next. CJ probably for a years supply of soft drinks and a coupon for BOGO Froyo. And for the grand finale they just waive and stretch Dame.
Don’t forget trading every first rounder they can trade with the Stepien for Russell Westbrook and then signing Tacko Fall and Gary Trent Sr to max contracts
Gosh darn I like the way you think
Pretty bad for Portland trading with LAC who have 0 1st picks and not only taking back any good young clipps (Mane, BJ).
Cov washed, overpaid Powell ??? What are Bledsoe, Winslow … Blazers could have get young prospects if they just wanted to cut 6M$ to get under the cap.
Cronin out now !
If Powell was makimg 140/5, sure, this type of clear salary dump would make sense. Except…he’s not. 80/5 is a reasonable contract for what he provides and should be able to fetch something of value on the market. Then you add in Covington, who isn’t as good as he once was but is still effective nonetheless. And both guys were questionable fits in Portland, but would likely be in better environments elsewhere.
And this…this is the return you get? Keon, a 2nd, and expirings? Yikes.
Yea its hard to gauge what sphere Por is operating under (if any at all) .
I Imagine somewhere in their minds they think they will get thru a quick re-tool and everything will come out spades.
What they are basing that off idk? Feels like praying when the planes already going down
Portland can now finally potentially guard the guard spot. Winslow also helps them at the 4, where they lost Nassir Little. They could still use a backup, pick and roll defending, rim protecting big, or a floor spacing big, and now potentially another wing shooter, having moved almost all their wing pieces they finally had accumulated
Folks here is mr. glass half full.
Dame to Philly
I guess if they were doing a total tear down and rebuild, I could see them taking Embiid’s terrible contract and a couple of firsts. :p
Breaking news!! Lillard going nowhere.