No. 3: Blazers add for now, Spurs add more for later
The San Antonio Spurs are already the biggest winners from the NBA Draft Lottery as they sustained their top odds and ended up with the top pick. With Victor Wembanyama, the future of the Spurs has been boosted and the team can now start to speak in whens, not ifs, for making the playoffs again.
Even with that luck, however, the team has a number of spots to fill on its roster. It has a few players, such as Jeremy Sochan or Devin Vassell, who could one day be stars, but there are no other blue chip prospects on the roster.
If the team wants to fully support Wembanyama, they may want to make a major swing for another young star to pair with him.
That’s where the Blazers come in. This trade would give San Antonio the pick to select either Henderson or Miller to be the perfect co-star for Wembanyama, which would give them one of the higher future ceilings in the league.
Adding Nurkic to the front court would help Wembanyama avoid the banging and jostling in the post that could break his body down faster than expected and fulfill his desire to play power forward at the NBA level.
For Portland, this under-the-radar trade would give the franchise an infusion of high-upside wings who are both ready to play today and could one day be borderline star players.
Keldon Johnson is a swing forward who has shown the ability to carry a team, albeit one as bad as the Spurs, with scoring and rebounding. His fit next to Grant is natural and would give the team a great core of forwards.
The real prize of the trade, however, would be Vassell, who already is playing like a true two-way wing. Those archetypes are hard to find, and pairing a player with that skillset with Lillard would be a match made in heaven.
Vassell would have the space to grow and become his best self while avoiding the pressure of defenses that would be keyed in on Dame instead.