2. Blazers get off Nurkic’s contract and clear way to build up their roster
Portland should be focused on maximizing their return for Damian Lillard. The Heat only have two first-round draft picks to trade, but they can compensate the Blazers in other ways. Miami will likely have to give up one of their top three scorers, but Portland should try to fold Jusuf Nurkic’s undesirable contract into this deal to maximize the value.
The Heat want to part with Kyle Lowry, who is on an expiring contract, and they have no choice but to meet Portland’s asking price. Pat Riley is always searching for the next star talent, and Damian Lillard is a perennial All-NBA candidate. It does not get better than this for Miami, especially with just two first-round draft picks to trade.
The Portland Trail Blazers just signed Jerami Grant to a massive contract, and they would be geared up here to stay relevant. Scoot Henderson has superstar potential. Pair him with Grant, Anfernee Simons, Tyler Herro, and Caleb Martin to give the Blazers a lot of pieces. Losing your superstar is never easy, but Portland would be in a solid position with room to improve quickly.
The Trail Blazers should try to convince the Miami Heat to give up Bam Adebayo in the deal, but it is unlikely to happen.