4 Reasons Joe Cronin deserves praise for the Trail Blazers' quiet trade deadline

It may have been boring and unpopular, but (almost) no move was the right move for Portland's GM.

Joe Cronin, Portland Trail Blazers
Joe Cronin, Portland Trail Blazers / Soobum Im/GettyImages
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Where were the trades worth making?

To make one last point on the draft pick conversation, three first-round picks changed hands on deadline day. That's it. First-rounders were clearly at a premium. Was Cronin really going to land a pick of any real value for Brogdon?

The three deadline-day deals that included first-round picks were:

  • P.J. Washington going from the Charlotte Hornets to the Dallas Mavericks for Grant Williams, Seth Curry and a top-two protected 2027 first. The Mavericks showed interest in Jerami Grant at one point - would that be an acceptable deal for a player averaging 21.9 points on 40.5 percent 3-point shooting? (Who just dropped 49 points, by the way).
  • Kelly Olynyk and Ochai Agbaji from the Utah Jazz to the Toronto Raptors for Kira Lewis Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and a 2024 first. Not only was there no reported interest in Grant or Brogdon from either of those teams, but both sides of the deal would be underwhelming at best from a Portland perspective.
  • Daniel Gafford to the Dallas Mavericks, Richaun Holmes and a 2024 first-round pick to the Washington Wizards. Gafford would have been a worthwhile addition for the Blazers, but as a rebuilding team, not enough of a needle-mover to throw a first-round pick at.

Are Brogdon or Grant worth any of those packages?

In addition, the Los Angeles Lakers decided Dejounte Murray wasn't worth whatever the Atlanta Hawks were asking for. The Golden State Warriors didn't make any moves. Other playoff contenders like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings were quiet.

If those teams had offered enough to acquire players who would help make a postseason run, they would have. The fact that they didn't paints a clear picture of what the market was like, and it wasn't one conducive to good teams making good enough offers for deals to get done.