After the mixed start to the season and some devastating injuries, Trail Blazers fans and media alike are split on whether to make moves for players like Kevin Love and Danilo Gallinari.
The Trail Blazers have a great team, and sustained playoff success. They have built this team painstakingly over the last eight years and their continued success is because of continuity in the front office, coaching staff and most importantly, the roster. There are multiple exciting young prospects on this team. Why shouldn’t we compromise the young pieces we have now, for some short-term gain?
The front office doesn’t need to act out of desperation
The trio of Damian Lillard,CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic form one of the strongest units in the league. When fit, they are a devastating combo. Add Zach Collins and Anfernee Simons to this, and you are starting to see a core that could potentially contend for conference finals or even championships.
This five are all under 30 and have McCollum and Lillard in their primes at 28 and 29, while Nurkic, Collins and Simons all have their best ball ahead of them.
When fit this squad is a top four team in the western conference. That might not cut it for some fans, but lets remember we are a small market that isn’t a free agent destination.
We have a great team with a young core that is developing nicely. The younger prospects have barely had time to prove themselves, trading them now for an aging veteran so we can get a seventh or eighth seed would be ill-advised.
This team isn’t terrible, they have a losing record primarily because of injuries. There is no need to panic, they have a strong team and when these players return the record will improve.
Losing a player for nothing is a possibility in a trade
We could trade for Danilo Gallinari. We have the assets to make this trade, but if we gave up a first round pick or a young player like Gary Trent Jr, there is a chance Gallinari doesn’t re-sign next summer.
This would be a disaster. Obviously if you could get the player to verbally agree on re-signing before you made the trade, that would be great. But until the player signs, nothing is set in stone. There may be trades out there that the front office could make, but there is no point giving away a great young player like Trent or Nassir Little, just for a Gallinari type to leave in the summer.
Why risk a young prospect for an older player who is injury prone?
The riskiest part of any trade for a Kevin Love or Gallinari type is their age and potential for future injury. Love missed 100 games over the last three years, with the three years that Love has left on his contract this should be a massive concern.
Teams have made these type of trades in the past, and the player that they traded for has missed significant amounts of time. This is every general managers nightmare, but injuries are a reality of this league.
A first round pick or a player of Little’s calibre is a piece that can give years of production if developed and used correctly. Giving him away for 180 games of Kevin Love isn’t a smart decision.
There is no need for a panic filled trade, that isn’t Neil Olshey’s style. Even if it means riding this year out with only 37 wins and missing the playoffs, if that means they keep the core of this team together then so be it.
Other teams may make these ill-advised trades but we don’t need to go down this road. We have such a great future with this squad, and when Nurkic and Collins return we can push for the playoffs again.
If trades are made they should be using the expiring contracts of Kent Bazemore and Hassan Whiteside. Unless an all-star falls into our lap then the young core needs to be off-limits. People might not like this reality, but they will thank us later for this opinion!