Trail Blazers’ bounty of picks make for intriguing off-season trade possibilities

Anfernee Simons, Josh Hart, Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Anfernee Simons, Josh Hart, Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Jusuf Nurkic, Christian Wood, NBA trades, Blazers trades
Jan 28, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (27) blocks out Houston Rockets center Christian Wood (35) on a Blazers free throw in the second half at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Christian Wood finally worked his way out of the doghouse, but could still be headed for a new home this summer

Houston Rockets center Christian Wood was benched by coach Paul Silas on New Years’ Day for breaking a team rule – reportedly involving the league’s COVID testing regimen. It took Wood a month to play his way back into Silas’ good graces, but since February 3 he is averaging 34 minutes, 22.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. He’s also added 14 steals and 15 blocks in those 15 games.

All this would seemingly make Wood very valuable to the Rockets, but the league’s punching bag won just two of those games – shockingly against the league-best Phoenix Suns, but even a broken sundial throws a shadow, or something like that.

Wood would cost the Blazers roughly the same as Grant, but would give Portland a markedly different approach in the frontcourt. Parking Wood and Nurkic at the low blocks would discourage all but the most LeBron Jamesian of players from heading their way.

In an era where NBA centers appear to be slowly heading for irrelevance, putting two star big men together may seem counterintuitive. But today’s heretic is often tomorrow’s visionary, and there wouldn’t be a team in the league that could compete with Wood and Nurkic for rebounds.

Regardless of which direction they turn, the Blazers should see plenty of forwards and centers who would fit their rotation and salary cap situation and help move them back nearer the front of the playoff pack.

Next. Can a Lillard-Simons backcourt compete defensively?. dark