Grade the Trade: Trail Blazers make bold move to acquire No. 3 pick

In this hypothetical trade, Portland makes a risky move by trading Houston for the No. 3 pick.
Milwaukee Bucks v Portland Trail Blazers
Milwaukee Bucks v Portland Trail Blazers / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
2 of 3

Blazers receive No. 3 pick from Rockets in brainstormed proposal

Blazers 3rd Pick Trade

For Houston, Anfernee Simons could be an intriguing addition and give them some long-term insurance for the 30-year-old Fred VanVleet, who has two years remaining on his contract with a team option for the 2025-26 season. That team option is worth $44.9 million, so having Simons in the mix could incentivize the Rockets to let VanVleet and his massive contract walk in free agency. At 25, Simons fits their timeline better alongside their young core of Amen Thompson, Jabari Smith Jr., Jalen Green, and Alperen Sengun, among others.

This deal was not a finalized trade proposal, as O'Connor and Mann were brainstorming possibilities for the Blazers to trade up. As it stands, this trade wouldn't work financially. The Blazers would have to receive a player in return for this trade to work, and there are a few possibilities - If Houston doesn't want to give up someone who is a core part of their rotation, Portland may accept someone like Steven Adams or Jock Landale in this trade. However, if the Blazers feel they have some leverage, they could ask for someone like Dillon Brooks instead.

No matter which player the Blazers get in return, the biggest prize is going to be the No. 3 pick in this year's draft; this begs the question, are all the valuable assets the Blazers are giving up in this deal worth having the No. 3 pick for the second consecutive year?