The Portland Trail Blazers recently traded two first-round picks to the Rockets to acquire Robert Covington. Here are 3 reasons why we love this trade.
As the Blazers look to contend this year with an MVP level Damian Lillard and a now-healthy Jusuf Nurkic, bringing in one of the best defenders in the league. Trevor Ariza, at 35-years-old, was just a rental who was never going to be around for the 2022 season.
Here are 3 reasons why we love this trade
Reason one – A big defensive upgrade.
First and foremost, the Blazers get a player who can credibly play the three and four, with a little bit of five. Covington is a legitimate six-foot-eight and is one of the best defenders in the league. Though he will likely be the starting four for the Blazers, he can guard three and some fives and will fix one of the Blazers’ biggest problems; forcing opposition turnovers.
He will likely start next to Gary Trent Jr. and provide a two way forward presence that the Blazers have lacked for several years. Covington is one of very few players to sit at the top of leaderboards for both steals and blocks. He has finished in the 90th percentile or higher in these categories 13 out of 16 times in his seven years in the league.
Covington will be massive next to Jusuf Nurkic, and when Zach Collins is fit, he could even play the three against teams like the Los Angeles Lakers. This would give the Blazers a supersized lineup that they haven’t possessed for a long time. The ability to have a six-foot-eight, a six-foot-eleven, and a seven-foot player in a lineup could provide massive mismatches for opposition teams.
With Covington, the Blazers’ defense is going to be significantly better.