Trade No. 3: Acquire Mikal Bridges and Nic Claxton from the Brooklyn Nets
The Nets have three first-round picks in the 2023 draft, but no 2024 first-round pick. They also have no first-round pick in 2026, so they would likely be interested in loading up on the Blazers’ future picks after their competitive “Dame window” closes.
Including more picks allows the Blazers to possibly retain Shaedon Sharpe.
If the Nets decide it’s time to embrace a rebuild after Durant’s and Kyrie Irving’s departures, this trade would surely give them the assets to do so.
While neither Bridges nor Claxton are true superstars, the combination of the two would give the Blazers much-needed improvement at both the three and the five positions.
Bridges is shooting an impressive 49.6 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from three since joining the Nets at the trade deadline, but his 26.8 points a night in those 20 games may not be sustainable for him given his career numbers.
It’s more likely that Bridges is who he has always been – a top-tier role player that can go off for 30-plus points on any given night. The Nets could sell high on him to gain the maximum amount of assets.
Claxton has played well in his first season as a full-time starter. His 109 defensive rating and 9.2 rebounds per game would be welcome additions to the Blazers’ lineup. At 6-foot-11, he also brings the size and athleticism that the Blazers are sorely missing in the frontcourt.
The best-case scenario here is that the Blazers can avoid trading Sharpe by including a bounty of draft picks.
In this scenario, Nurkic either starts ahead of Claxton, becomes one of the best backup center options in the NBA, or can be used in another trade to obtain depth pieces.
Since the Nets would be signaling a full rebuild with this trade, strong draft capital would be required. Bridges and Claxton are ready to contribute now, which is what the Blazers need.
Potential lineup following this trade: Damian Lillard, Shaedon Sharpe, Mikal Bridges, Jerami Grant, Nic Claxton/Jusuf Nurkic