The Portland Trail Blazers made one move at the trade deadline, and unfortunately it was sending Skal Labissiere to the Atlanta Hawks.
Fans of the Portland Trail Blazers were hoping for big trades at the deadline, and unfortunately this one didn’t cut the mustard in Rip City. It seemed earlier in the year that Skal Labissiere was finding his niche on the team as a nice backup option to Hassan Whiteside. Some nights he was even playing 20 minutes.
Unfortunately, a serious leg injury side-lined him for the last month. He was meant to be reassessed at the start of February, when this didn’t happen there were some worries about his long-term health.
The official package for Skal was a top-55 protected second round pick and $2 million cash going to the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks absorbed him into cap space. That the Blazers didn’t bring another player back in the trade could mean they are trying to sign someone who was recently cut by their team in the carnage of the last 24 hours.
We will cover this in more detail in the next day or two.
For the meantime though, we are disappointed to see the back of Skal. He was young and had a developing game with strong defense and improved passing. Though he only played 42 games, we thought he could be a backup big that would add value for this team.
It’s possible that his injury was a lot worse than they revealed and he had to be cut because of this. Or as we said above, the Blazers saw someone on the open market who wasn’t there a week ago and they wanted to sign them.
Hassan Whiteside is staying for the rest of the season, so with Jusuf Nurkic returning in the next few weeks, Skal may have been surplus to requirements.
The business of the NBA is a tough one, so we wish Skal all the best in Atlanta. For now, we should keep an eye on the front office for other moves. Even if this was a disappointing deadline for fans, Neil Olshey may not be finished making moves.