Portland Trail Blazers: 4 potential trades to improve at the wing

Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
Otto Porter of the Chicago Bulls (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The prototypical 3-and-D perimeter player

Although they missed their opportunity at last year’s trade deadline, the Portland Trail Blazers could capitalize on their circumstances and leverage a deal for Otto Porter Jr. of the Chicago Bulls.

The Blazers whiffed in their pursuit of Porter last year due to Washington’s desire to cut salary and get out of the luxury tax. Therefore, Chicago’s expiring contracts were more valuable trade assets than Portland’s first-round pick they were rumored to be offering.

After Nassir Little slipped to them at the No. 25 spot in the draft, the Blazers are probably grateful they kept their pick. But that doesn’t mean they should give up on chasing Otto just yet.

Porter enjoyed great success in his 15 games in Chicago last year, scoring 17.5 points a night on an incredible 48.8 percent shooting from deep. Playing a featured role in the offense allowed Porter to shine in a way he never could while taking a backseat to John Wall and Bradley Beal. While the Bulls would probably prefer to keep their new acquisition, the dramatically changing landscape of the NBA may have altered the situation enough for Portland to make a move.

This summer, both Harrison Barnes and Al Horford opted out of more lucrative one-year player options to secure long-term deals at a discounted rate. Similarly, Porter has a player option for the 2020-21 season, where he’s set to make $28.5 million. Although it first seemed impossible, recent events suggest Porter could opt out and secure a four-year deal ranging anywhere from $90 to $100 million on a contender (like Portland).

Pulling the trigger on this deal now allows the Bulls to get something in return when they weren’t going to be in title contention anyways, and allows Chandler Hutchison to step into a larger role and prove if he’s got what it takes to be a part of the future.

Porter would then get the opportunity to play with the best supporting cast of his career, one who would be happy to let him handle the ball more often as the Blazers stagger Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum‘s minutes. A sharpshooting perimeter player that can defend the other team’s best player sounds exactly like the perfect prescription for Portland’s ailments.