4 Small deadline trades that could have big impacts on Trail Blazers' future

There are some moves Portland can make that won't be headline-grabbers but could make a significant difference down the line.

Nick Richards, Charlotte Hornets (left); Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards
Nick Richards, Charlotte Hornets (left); Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Rebuilding franchise + trade deadline = sell

That's often the equation for teams like this year's Portland Trail Blazers. Veterans such as Malcolm Brogdon and Jerami Grant would be made available to the highest bidder. Even Matisse Thybulle who, despite being only 26 years old, would be on the market as a valuable asset to a contending team.

(Whether or not that's the route the Blazers take between now and the Feb. 8 deadline is oddly uncertain).

The ultimate goal in this situation is to collect as many future assets as possible. More often than not that comes in the form of draft picks, but taking a page out of the Toronto Raptors' playbook and acquiring established young players isn't a bad route either.

Only a few weeks ago, Toronto sent OG Anunoby to the New York Knicks in return for a package that included RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley.

Regardless, the play is to trade away spare parts and bring back future capital; there's rarely a middle ground. But what if Portland could find one?

4 under-the-radar trades Blazers could make to impact long-term future

The Trail Blazers are pretty well stocked with draft assets. Not Oklahoma City Thunder stocked, but there's a large selection of picks in Portland's cupboard, some more valuable than others. The plan is to scout and draft well and continue to add young talent to the roster.

But what if the Blazers could add young, cheap talent now while still holding onto all their most valuable picks?

The Athletic (subscription required) has a handy little tool called the NBA Trade Board 2024. It ranks the best available players at this year's trade deadline as well as their trade value. For example, Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray is No. 1 on the board and his listed value is a first-round pick and a prospect.

Using these rankings and values as a guide, the Trail Blazers have four trades available to them that would fly well under the radar but could end up providing significant value to the franchise's rebuild.

None of them include players like Murray or Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma - these targets would be young, cheap and either undervalued or underutilized by their current teams. They may not be shining bright now, but in a situation like Portland's would have a chance to thrive.