Whether it ends up being with Damian Lillard or without, the Portland Trail Blazers need to reshape their roster this summer. They’re far from the only NBA team that needs to accomplish that task, however.
As the NBA Draft Lottery approaches, there are at least a dozen franchises around the league thinking about hitting their respective retool buttons. Some organizations are content to do that through the draft, adding high-upside prospects who could blossom into superstars someday.
Others will look to the trade or free agency markets, in addition to the draft – or some combination of all three – to set themselves up for next season and/or beyond.
The Blazers are likely to participate in all three, whether it’s with next season or the beyond in mind.
With everyone stuck in the mock draft stage at the moment and “official” free agency still more than six weeks away, the trade rumor mill is spinning fast, and Portland is often included – even, apparently, when it includes other teams’ fantasy deals.
Blazers, Raptors needs align for what could be league-altering trade
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley put together a story on the “dream offseason trade targets” of all 30 NBA teams. Some really did fall under the “dream” category (Jaylen Brown to the Atlanta Hawks and Trae Young to the Houston Rockets), while others were smaller moves designed for fit (Tyus Jones to the Chicago Bulls).
Buckley’s piece had Lillard going to the Brooklyn Nets, for what it’s worth.
The most interesting aspect of the list, though, were the names Buckley included for Portland and Toronto. He named the Blazers dream target as Pascal Siakam and the Raptors dream target as Anfernee Simons.
Can someone get Portland General Manager Joe Cronin and Toronto GM Bobby Webster on the phone together, please?
A one-for-one swap isn’t realistic. For the Blazers to land an All-NBA player such as Siakam, it would take more than Simons alone. Shaedon Sharpe may need to be involved in a potential deal, along with draft picks including, but not limited to, Portland’s lottery pick, which holds the fifth-best odds at becoming Victor Wembanyama.
Blazers-Raptors rumors will continue to swirl the rest of the offseason, as the two teams have more in common than just Simons and Siakam; OG Anunoby was, and likely remains, a target for Portland, while Toronto would love to add Sharpe and future picks, not just Simons.
Buckley’s article goes to show, though, that the two teams’ dream offseason trade targets could eventually become simply their dream offseason trade.