Grade the Trade: Blazers aggressively move up to snag No. 1 pick

Should the Portland Trail Blazers trade up for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft?
NBL Semi Final: Game 3 - Perth Wildcats v Tasmania Jackjumpers
NBL Semi Final: Game 3 - Perth Wildcats v Tasmania Jackjumpers / Paul Kane/GettyImages

Bleacher Report's Dan Favale proposed five trades for the Atlanta Hawks that involved shipping out their No. 1 overall pick. The Hawks won the lottery despite only having a three percent chance of doing so. Now, they are one of the most talked about teams this offseason. Eyes are on what they decide to do with the No. 1 overall pick and whether they end up trading one of Trae Young or Dejounte Murray.

Because there are so many directions the Hawks can take this offseason, the proposed trades offered various paths ranging from rebuilding entirely or going all-in to contend. These proposed trades are different from your typical package that teams would require to move up to the No. 1 overall pick in years past. Although French big man Alexandre Sarr seems likely to go No. 1 currently, he's not as clear-cut of a top overall prospect as we are accustomed to seeing. 

Bleacher Report's proposed trade has Portland moving up to No. 1 pick

Favale identified the Portland Trail Blazers as a potential trade partner as a team that could make sense to trade up to get the No. 1 overall pick, especially now that they have two lottery picks to work with as trade assets. Because of the weak draft class, it could be reasonable for a team like Portland to move up to No. 1 without giving away all their valuable assets.

Here are the details of the trade Favale proposed: 

Blazers trade up for No. 1

In this scenario, the 2027 second-round pick the Blazers are acquiring would be the less favorable pick between the Nets and the Mavericks and would be coming over from the Pistons.

One reason Favale mentions for the Blazers agreeing to this trade is financial. Despite finishing with the fourth-worst record in the NBA, Portland is still in the luxury-tax and first-apron territory. For context, the No. 1 overall pick's first-year NBA salary is $10.1 million, while picks No. 7 and No. 14 are $5.5 million and $3.6 million, respectively. There's no significant difference between the two lottery picks or the No. 1 overall pick.

Meanwhile, Thybulle is on the books until 2025-26, when he has a player option. Last summer, the Blazers matched the Mavericks' offer sheet of three-year, $33 million. The financial reasons the Blazers would do this trade aren't significant enough to pull the trigger. While they must get out of the luxury tax threshold, Thybulle is a net positive asset under a reasonable contract. He will be a popular trade candidate around the league should Portland decide to move him.

The Blazers need to do some trade to get out of their financial mess - it just doesn't have to be this trade. With the question marks surrounding Sarr as more of a raw project rather than the more developed No. 1 overall prospects we are used to seeing, there is little reason for the Blazers to move up aggressively. Quantity over quality is more important in this year's draft. The Blazers should stand pat in this scenario.

Trail Blazers trade grade: C