While a handful of general managers watch their respective teams jockey for this year’s Larry O’Brien Trophy, Portland GM Joe Cronin is sifting through the Trail Blazers trade options heading into an offseason of reckoning for the franchise.
With significant changes needing to be made to the roster and a lack of salary cap flexibility with which to do it, upgrades will be need to be made either through that avenue or through the draft, or perhaps more likely, both.
As the saying goes, though, it takes two to tango. Portland will need to find a team willing to part with a player, or players, that move the needle significantly enough to turn the team into potential title contenders. To do that, Cronin will need to give up something of equally significant worth.
What does he have in the cupboard?
Ranking the 5 most valuable Trail Blazers trade assets
5. Jerami Grant
If a Grant trade becomes a possibility, things have gone far, far south in terms of Portland becoming a championship-caliber team.
Grant would have to be part of a sign-and-trade, meaning the Blazers re-sign the unrestricted free agent to a long-term deal only to turn around and send him packing.
The 29-year-old would hold significant value, though, especially if he re-ups at a decent dollar amount. His time in Portland has shown that he can thrive as a second or third offensive option while using his length and athleticism to remain a solid defender.
Grant had his best and most efficient offensive season as a pro last year, scoring better than 20 points a night while shooting a career-high 40.1 percent from three, proving his value as a legitimate three-and-D wing.
He would fetch a solid return from a potential contender looking to find its final piece or two, with possibilities being teams such as the Miami Heat or Dallas Mavericks.