Do the Blazers actually have enough assets to acquire another superstar?

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Credit: Eric Hartline - USA TODAY Sports
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Credit: Eric Hartline - USA TODAY Sports /
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Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns
Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns, Credit: Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports /

Revisiting the assets involved in past blockbuster trades

For comparison, we will revisit blockbuster trades in past seasons and how much those teams gave up to get those deals done. ESPN’s Tim Bontemps had a relevant article released in 2022, ranking the biggest trades of the past two decades.

Here are a few trades mentioned in that article:

James Harden to Brooklyn Nets (2021)

Brooklyn receives: James Harden

Rockets receive: Rodions Kurucs, Dante Exum, 2022 first-round pick (from Bucks), 2022 first-round pick (from Nets), 2024 first-round pick (from Nets), 2026 first-round pick (from Nets), 2021 pick swap (from Nets), 2023 pick swap (from Nets), 2025 pick swap (from Nets), 2027 pick swap (from Nets)

Pacers receive: Caris LeVert, 2023 second-round pick, 2024 second-round pick

Cavaliers receive: Jarrett Allen and Taurean Prince

Kevin Love to Cleveland Cavaliers (2014)

Cavaliers receive: Kevin Love

Timberwolves receive: Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, Thaddeus Young

76ers receive: Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved, 2016 first-round pick

Trades that happened after Bontemps’ article was released or were not mentioned:

Kevin Durant to Phoenix Suns (2023)

Suns receive: Kevin Durant, TJ Warren

Nets receive: Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Juan Pablo Vaulet, 2023 first-round pick (from Suns), 2025 first-round pick (from Suns), 2027 first-round pick (from Suns), 2028 first-round pick swap (from Suns), 2028 second-round pick (from Bucks), 2029 first-round pick (from Suns), 2029 second-round pick (from Bucks)

Bucks receive: Jae Crowder

Pacers receive: George Hill, Serge Ibaka, Jordan Nwora, three future second-round picks (from Bucks), cash considerations (from Nets)

Rudy Gobert to Minnesota Timberwolves (2022)

Timberwolves receive: Rudy Gobert

Jazz receive: Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, 2023 first-round pick, 2025 first-round pick, 2026 first-round pick swap, 2027 first-round pick, 2029 first-round pick (top-five protected)

Dejounte Murray to Atlanta Hawks (2022)

Hawks receive: Dejounte Murray, Jock Landale

Spurs receive: Danilo Gallinari, 2023 first-round pick, 2025 first-round pick, 2026 pick swap, 2027 first-round pick

Jimmy Butler to Minnesota Timberwolves (2017)

Timberwolves receive: Jimmy Butler, 16th overall pick (Justin Patton)

Bulls receive: Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, seventh overall pick (Lauri Markkanen)

One of the main takeaways Bontemps highlights in his article is that “picks matter more now than ever before.” Teams willing to part ways with their stars aren’t ready to contend and would prefer future returns that align better with their roster’s timeline.