No. 4: Blazers add depth while maintaining a lottery pick
After the years that each team had, this may seem like a befuddling trade, but there are some clear reasons behind it.
The Blazers would obviously love a star player to pair with Lillard, but they may be better served getting a package that has a greater sum of parts.
The Thunder, who looked like a potential playoff team last year, are still incredibly young and run the risk of overachieving before assembling the right core to support Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Snagging a marquee player like Henderson or Miller, even with their questionable fits, could be the right move for the Thunder of 2026 more than 2023.
To jump that high up in the draft, Oklahoma City would give up a starting wing stopper, its best sniper from deep, its rookie starter at center, and its own lottery pick. It is a steep price, but the Thunder would pair Chet Holmgren with a natural front court player in Nurkic while maintaining their young core and adding a dynamic piece to it.
This trade would actualize the best possible roster around Lillard without adding another star. Dort is a natural fit at small forward, as he can space the floor and guard the best perimeter player on the other team.
Williams flew under the radar, but he started 36 games for a play-in team as a rookie due to his size and defense. Adding a shooter like Joe would only make the team’s bench better, while a late lottery pick is a valuable asset as well.