The Portland Trail Blazers again find themselves short-handed with injuries early in the season. Which 5 trades could they make to bring in re-enforcements?
The Portland Trail Blazers have major injury issues yet again. Only a month or so into the new season, they have lost Zach Collins for the entire season, Jusuf Nurkic for eight weeks, and then CJ McCollum for a month.
Though some of the Blazers’ issues are on the defensive end in terms of scheme, some are because of injury or because the new personnel has struggled to integrate themselves with the existing guys.
This Blazers team lacks defense around the rim, and shot creation on the second unit. With some bad losses against inferior teams, it’s time to push the panic button.
Which 5 trades could the Blazers make to bring in re-enforcements at the trade deadline?
Trade #1 – Ish Smith for Rodney Hood and a second-round pick
The Blazers need either shot creation, or defense on their second unit. Back up guard Anfernee Simons has shown some improvement as a three-point shooter, but he has been one of the worst in the league for setting up his teammates as a passer.
Neil Olshey has stated that the Blazers don’t need a backup guard, but that was before Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum were injured. Outside of Damian Lillard, Nurk and CJ are the team’s best two passers.
For at least the next 3 weeks, both these players will be out, and then Nurk for at least another 3 weeks beyond that.
The Washington Wizards are having a terrible season, and are among the worst teams in the league. Though they have Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, they haven’t been able to integrate Westbrook successfully. They have had COVID disruptions meaning they aren’t able to play consistently to address their concerns or get continuity.
With just three wins so far in the season, it may be time now, or at the deadline, to start moving some of their pieces, to get assets in return.
Wagner has barely played this year, and with the signing of Alex Len, he is likely to be out of the rotation completely.
The Blazers could bring in Smith, and utilize him right away.
Smith is a 32-year-old backup point guard who played on many NBA teams before finding longer-term homes on the Detroit Pistons, and Wizards.
Smith’s strengths are his passing and defense. Though he is just six-foot-tall, he has a six-foot-four wingspan that enables him to get deflections, steals, and use his great timing to block shots.
Smith is an excellent passer who takes care of the ball as well.
His shooting has also come along nicely in the last few years. Smith shot 34 percent from three with the Pistons, and is up to 37.2 percent with the Wizards.
Smith could run the second unit on the Blazers, and Wagner could either be cut or used as a third big if he still had some value.
For the Wizards, they could cut Rodney Hood at the end of the year, or see if he could add some spacing to a team that is just 20th in three-point attempt percentage this season. The Wizards would also get a second-round pick for their troubles.