The Trail Blazers are considered one of the NBA’s most active teams in trade discussions leading up to the February 10 deadline, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, who says the Hawks, Pacers, Kings, and Pelicans also fall into that group.
While it remains to be seen exactly what direction Portland will take at the deadline, it seems clear the team remains motivated to shed a little salary to get out of luxury tax territory, Fischer writes. Rival executives who have spoken to Bleacher Report suggest CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Jusuf Nurkic, and Robert Covington could all be trade candidates.
Here’s more on the Blazers:
- The Pelicans have been the team most frequently linked to McCollum, says Fischer. Fischer suggests a package of Jonas Valanciunas and Josh Hart might make sense, but acknowledges that New Orleans will be reluctant to part with Valanciunas, preferring to move players like Tomas Satoransky and Jaxson Hayes.
- Noting that Portland has been among Jerami Grant‘s suitors, Fischer wonders if Powell might appeal to the Pistons. Detroit is believed to prefer draft picks and young players in any Grant trade, but Dwane Casey coached Powell in Toronto and Fischer says the Pistons were one of Powell’s top options as a free agent last summer.
- Despite their reported interest in Covington, the Jazz have been described by Fischer’s sources as an unlikely landing spot for the Blazers forward.
- The Blazers moved quickly earlier this month to hire former Cavaliers executive Andrae Patterson as an assistant general manager, according to Fischer, who says Patterson received a job offer just one day after Portland requested permission to interview him. He’ll have “significant input” in the team’s draft and free agency planning.
- Besides hiring Patterson, interim GM Joe Cronin has also made changes to the Blazers’ scouting department, public relations department, and medical staff, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t have the go-ahead to make major roster changes too, Fischer writes.