Per Shams Charania, the Portland Trail Blazers may potentially have an official taker in a long-rumored trade involving the No. 3 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft:
Old friend CJ McCollum and the New Orleans Pelicans are the first concrete team attached to Portland’s selection.
The New Orleans Pelicans are interested in trading for the Blazers’ No. 3 pick
As Shams reported, NOLA is after the G League Ignite’s Scoot Henderson, who is widely expected to be the first guard taken on June 22. In order to land Scoot, the Pels, who currently own the 14th pick in the first round, will have to find a deal with the Charlotte Hornets at No. 2 or the Blazers at No. 3.
Alabama forward Brandon Miller is rumored to be the selection for the Hornets, which would leave a trade with Portland as New Orleans’ best option.
What do the Pelicans have to offer the Blazers to trade up to No. 3?
New Orleans’ biggest trade chips are forwards Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
When healthy, Williamson is one of the most physically dominant and exciting players in the NBA. However, that “healthy” part has been a major, major concern for Zion so far in his career.
Ingram is the better fit for Portland, especially if the team hopes to contend immediately with Damian Lillard. Adding a 6-foot-8 scorer who’s only 25 years old and has averaged more than 22 points per game each of the last four seasons would solidify the wing spot the Blazers are trying to fix.
New Orleans has other young, promising pieces like guard Dyson Daniels and forwards Herbert Jones and Trey Murphy III, as well.
The Pelicans also have seven first-round draft picks in the next five seasons to sweeten any deal.