An NBA franchise in year one of a rebuild is firmly in asset-collection mode, and the Portland Trail Blazers are no different. Last offseason, they collected Scoot Henderson in the draft, Jerami Grant in free agency and Deandre Ayton, Robert Williams III, Malcolm Brogdon and multiple first-round picks and pick swaps through trades. This year's NBA trade deadline brings more opportunities.
As a 31-year-old with lots to offer a championship-contending team, Brogdon, for instance, will likely be dealt. As a 19-year-old who was just drafted seven months ago, Henderson will not.
The Blazers need to ask themselves two questions over the next few weeks:
- Which player(s) are we willing to move who have worth on the trade market and can net us valuable assets for the future?
- What kind of assets do we want/need?
Trail Blazers trade targets ranked from, "Sure, we can do that" to "So you're telling me there's a chance"
Giannis Antetokounmpo or Nikola Jokic would be worthwhile goals. The Detroit Pistons' first-round pick would be a nice get too. But Portland has a less-than-zero chance of landing a player or draft selection of that caliber.
A team can dream though, right?
And some dreams come true - just probably not the two-time MVP-type dreams. So which players or picks are within the Trail Blazers' grasp, which are just out of the reach of their fingertips, and which would require a miracle Victor Wembanyama-type stretch?