Trade #2 – Malik Monk for Zach Collins
Though it may be tough to accept, the time could be right for the Blazers to move on from Zach Collins. With Jusuf Nurkic the clear big man of the future, and Collins out for the rest of the season with a foot injury, it could be time to move him and clear a roster spot, or try to get something in return.
Collins may return next season and become the player that his clear potential showed for three years. But with the Blazers trying to contend for a title, they don’t have the time or cap space to invest in him.
They could move him at the deadline and bring in a project player who is on a similar timeline to Collins. Malik Monk of the Hornets was drafted in 2018 as the number 11 pick after a spectacular one and done career at Kentucky.
Unfortunately for the talented Monk, his year by year improvements seem to have fully tapered off in this, his fourth season, as he has fallen out of the rotation altogether.
With Gordon Hayward’s signing and the drafting of LaMelo Ball, it seems like Monk has been squeezed out of any minutes that he was getting in previous years.
Though he didn’t set the league on fire in previous years, he was improving gradually, and was up to 10 points a game in 2020, to go with 2 rebounds and 2 assists.
It makes sense for the Hornets to move him now, as it would seem very unlikely that they would pay him at the end of his rookie contract this year.
By swapping him for Collins, they could make a low-risk move to bring in a guy who would be a perfect five-man for the Hornets if he got fit. The Hornets only have the aging Cody Zeller, and then back up Bismack Biyombo on their books as big men.
Both of these guys don’t move the needle on either end. The Hornets would have no obligation to bring Collins back if he didn’t recover from injury.
The Blazers would get a six-foot-three combo guard in Monk, who could create for himself, initiate secondary offense, and is an improving defender.
Like Collins, Monk, once his rookie deal ends, his team would have match rights. If Monk played well on the second unit, he could either command a nice multi-year payday, or be brought back on a one-year bet on yourself type of deal by the Blazers.