Blazers miss the playoffs, Knicks make the playoffs
This is the best-case scenario from an asset standpoint.
If the Blazers miss the playoffs and the Knicks make the playoffs, then the Blazers find themselves with two first-round picks in the upcoming NBA draft.
Portland could possibly send the Knicks pick to the Bulls in exchange for removing the protections on the Blazers’ own pick that’s owed to Chicago and is lottery-protected through 2028, which would allow them to trade future first-round picks again beginning next year.
Doing so would unlock their draft pick capital and give them a lot of options to acquire a star via trade in the offseason.
The Blazers would also have a collection of young talent to offer to any potential trade partner in Nassir Little, Anfernee Simons, Shaedon Sharpe, Cam Reddish, and Matisse Thybulle.
If Portland is out of playoff contention, it can also give more minutes to the likes of Reddish, Thybulle, and Kevin Knox to see who is worth retaining. They can also give more minutes to Sharpe, Little, Jabari Walker, and Trendon Watford to help accelerate their growth.