5 Sleeper trade targets the Portland Trail Blazers should pursue

Depending on their asking price, the Portland Trail Blazers should target these five under-the-radar players in a trade this offseason.
Mar 29, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson (3)
Mar 29, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Keldon Johnson (3) / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
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The Portland Trail Blazers are entering a pivotal offseason that could make or break the team's trajectory as they continue rebuilding. Stocked with four draft picks, including two in the lottery, they can reshape their roster and address multiple glaring needs in the upcoming NBA Draft.

However, they likely won't be content only rebuilding through the draft; this is a prime opportunity for them to trade away some of their veteran pieces in exchange for younger, up-and-coming players that better fit their timeline.

When identifying potential trade partners, it's essential to consider teams with a reason to shake things up. Whether it's teams that fell short of expectations in the playoffs and need another piece to push them over the top or teams that are stuck in "no man's land" and want to accelerate their rebuilding process.

The following five players' teams fit one of those criteria and are part of various trade rumors that could happen this summer. These players could also be considered "sleepers" because they aren't blockbuster names. The Blazers could acquire them for a reasonable price, given their team's circumstances. Additionally, they are ideal matches for the Blazers' rebuilding timeline and their team needs.

1. Keldon Johnson

All eyes are on the San Antonio Spurs entering the offseason following Victor Wembanyama's historic rookie season. Wembanyama entered last year's draft as a generational prospect but has already ascended to an All-Star-level talent heading into his second year. The Spurs, equipped with the No. 4 and No. 8 draft picks in the 2024 NBA Draft, could make a trade to surround Wembanyama with more talent.

They don't necessarily have to be patient with their rebuild anymore since they have already found their elite prospect to build around. Now, it's a matter of surrounding Wembanyama with the right pieces. If they don't deem Keldon Johnson to be part of that equation, then he's someone that Portland should take a hard look at.

Johnson, at 24 years old, still hasn't entered his prime but already plays like an NBA veteran. He has a high basketball IQ and even has team Olympic experience, representing Team USA at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. This season, the Spurs forward averaged 15.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 0.7 steals per game on 45/35/79 shooting splits. His numbers regressed this season compared to last, but that's mainly due to his decreased role and the emergence of Wembanyama as the focal point of the offense.

Johnson is an elite role piece because of his versatility and decision-making skills. Finishing last in the Western Conference, the Blazers need help in multiple areas. Johnson's well-rounded play and ability to contribute in various facets could boost their overall level of play.