The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching. The rumor mill is swirling the Portland Trail Blazers. Fans and observers are wondering who will be traded by the February 10 deadline, and who will remain in Portland.
The team’s recent move that sent Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Los Angeles Clippers has only amped up the anticipation — and threatening pressure — for the Trail Blazers’ next move.
Over Portland’s 50 plus years of NBA history, they have made many trades close to the deadline — some impressive, some not so much. Here are some of the more notable trades.
A brief review of some notable Portland Trail Blazers trade deadline deals
At the 2012 trade deadline, Portland sent forward Gerald Wallace to the New Jersey Nets for center Mehmet Okur, forward Shawne Williams, and their 2012 first-round pick, top-three protected. Okur and Williams never played for the Blazers, but we all know who they used the sixth pick on. If you didn’t know, it was a future Hall of Fame guard out of Weber State, who currently wears “O”. At the time, a source with the Nets told ESPN’s Chad Ford:
"“The Nets were willing to part with their top-3 protected pick because there are only three players in the draft the Nets covet– Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kansas’ Thomas Robinson.”"
Norman Powell to Portland:
This was the Blazers’ most recent trade deadline acquisition. The Blazers sent Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood to the Toronto Raptors for Norman Powell. Powell signed a five-year contract this off-season to remain with the Blazers, but his contract ended up instrumental in their most recent trade to acquire Eric Bledsoe’s basically expiring deal and spare parts.
Otis Thorpe to “Rip City”:
Perhaps the trade that still has some fans bitter, February 1995, Portland trades their all-time leading scorer, steals leader, and more t, the Houston Rockets for forward Otis Thorpe and the rights to Marcelo Nicola. The Blazers sent Clyde Drexler and forward Tracy Murray. While Drexler and Murray went on to win a championship with the Rockets (95), Thorpe would be traded to Detroit for guard Randolph Childress and forward Bill Curley later that year. Former Seattle Sonics coach George Karl tweeted in 2020 a picture of Drexler in a Sonics jersey with, “It almost happened.”
In a conversation with former Blazers General Manager Bob Whitsitt on Karl’s podcast he cohosts, Whitsitt called Wally Walker, the Sonics General Manager at the time. Whitsitt via the podcast and the Seattle P-I’s Ben Arthur:
"“I said, ‘Wally, here’s the deal. You guys are in championship mode,’” Whitsitt recalled. “And (Michael) Jordan was gone. Jordan was playing baseball. So the big window was open. It was like, if you’re in the West, you (can) win this thing.“I said, ‘Kendall (Gill) doesn’t really fit for George (Karl). And Clyde is salivating to win it, and you’re one of the teams he just got so excited about he would play for that he can’t stand it.’ I said, ‘It’s a simple straight-up deal.’”"
Walker backed out because of Portland being a rival team.
This is another move that Blazers fans would like to forget about. Will Barton, a fan favorite at the time, Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson (yes that Thomas Robinson, the one the Nets were reportedly high on), and a 2016 first-round pick were moved for Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee. At the time, Portland needed Affalo, but many felt it was too much to give up for him. He would sign with the Knicks that offseason and Gee ended up with New Orleans.