Trade #2: Anfernee Simons and Shaedon Sharpe for Pascal Siakam
What the Blazers need to become a serious contender is a better defense and another star to pair with Lillard. Dame has shown he can carry a great NBA offense on his own, but giving him a Robin to his Batman would do wonders for the team, especially when offenses sputter in the playoffs.
This Simons trade hinges on the Raptors making a curious move after their trade deadline shenanigans. Instead of zigging and tanking by shipping off players, the Raptors zagged and traded for Jakob Poeltl.
They’re in a play-in position now, but will be on the hook for giving both Poeltl and Fred VanVleet a new contract this summer.
A shrewd general manager like Masai Ujiri has probably taken stock of his roster and figured out that Pascal Siakam can’t be a top option on a contender. As a secondary option behind Lillard, however, Siakam is a perfect fit.
He’s a versatile power forward who can carry a scoring load, make plays for others, and defend at a solid clip. This all-around game has paid off in All-NBA appearances for Siakam – that’s the exact type of player the Blazers need to contend.
In this hypothetical scenario, the Raptors would let VanVleet walk and get a younger, arguably better point guard in Simons and an athletic (and local) flier in Sharpe.
Simons would be the starting point guard and have OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, and Poeltl to pass to, each of whom can cover up his defensive deficiencies. Sharpe would have more time to develop into a potential star without the pressure that Portland has to win now.
This trade would represent a seismic shift for two teams stuck in the middle of their respective conferences, but if Siakam is offered on the market this year, the Blazers should explore every option available, including trading their young back court, to grab a player of his caliber.