The New Orleans Pelicans have made point guard Lonzo Ball available in trade. With the Portland Trail Blazers struggling defensively and with bench creation, they urgently need defense at every position.
CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic are out for over a month each. Derrick Jones Jr is injured, and Robert Covington has just missed time with a concussion. With this injury toll, and the Blazers currently having the third-worst defense in the league, their season could be close to derailing.
This NBA season is shorter than normal, so with four losses in the last six games, the Blazers can’t waste any more time if they want to make the playoffs. With just 72 games this season, and one of the more stacked Western Conference’s this league has ever seen, the Blazers can’t afford to fall any lower than where they sit currently.
In defensive ace Ball, the Blazers could bring in a guard who could be part of the next great team in Rip City and assist with bench creation and defense.
Which 3 trades can the Portland Trail Blazers put together for the New Orleans Pelicans Lonzo Ball?
Trade #1 – Lonzo Ball for Rodney Hood and a protected 2023 first-round pick
Yes, Rodney Hood will be in most trade packages this season. Because of the step back he took after his injury, and the $10 million salary he will earn this season, he makes sense in most trades.
If the Blazers were to make a trade, he is the most likely to be moved.
Sadly, Hood hasn’t been the same since his injury, and the chances of him coming back in the 2022 season are pretty slim. The Blazers are better to use his salary to bring in other pieces.
By moving him to the Pelicans for Ball, they use one of their very few trade assets, while also attaching a future protected first-round pick.
The Pelicans, as currently constructed, aren’t able to compete in the West. And with Ball about to ink a new contract at the end of the season, I can see why they may be looking to move him.
Hood is a wing, of which this Blazers team has other options. Gary Trent Jr is the long term back up two and three, and is a far better defender than Hood.
The Blazers could run a three-guard lineup off the bench that would have creation, defense, and shooting by bringing in Ball. Ball could run with Trent and Anfernee Simons, then give either CJ McCollum or Damian Lillard a break, dependent on opposition matchups.
Ball would be an excellent fit on this Blazer team because of his defense, size, and youth. He is just 23, and his best basketball ahead of him.