Steep payment in Avdija trade also comes with crucial bonus for Trail Blazers

The Blazers gave up valuable trade assets to acquire Deni Avdija, but it also solved a major issue.
Chicago Bulls v Washington Wizards
Chicago Bulls v Washington Wizards / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

The Portland Trail Blazers made a significant splash in the hours leading up to the 2024 NBA Draft. They will only have one lottery pick after shipping the No. 14 pick along with Malcolm Brogdon, a first in 2029, and two second-round picks to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Deni Avdija. Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the 2029 first-round pick that Portland is sending is the second most favorable of their first-round picks.

It's a substantial amount of trade assets for Porltnad to give up. Still, it clears up their roster clutter and ultimately solves a significant issue they had to address this offseason.

Deni Avdija trade gets Blazers under the luxury tax

Avdija is owed $15.6 million for the 2024-25 season, compared to Malcolm Brogdon's $22.5 million. After factoring in that cap hit difference as well as the salary of the No. 14 overall pick, the Blazers are now $4.2 million under the luxury tax., according to Yossi Gozlan.

No team finishing with a 21-61 record should ever be taking on tax obligations. It was apparent that the Blazers needed to move a significant piece of their roster this offseason, and Brogdon, who didn't fit their rebuilding timeline, was the most likely all along.

Avdija's fit in the Blazers' rebuild

The Blazers' most pressing position to address this offseason is their wings, and Avdija fills a significant void in their roster. He had a breakout season with Washington, increasing his scoring output from 9.2 to 14.7 points per game to go along with 7.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game on 51/37/74 shooting splits.

He was even sixth in the Most Improved Player of the Year voting, a testament to his upward trajectory. At only 23 years old, Avdija fits incredibly well with the Blazers' timeline and could be a foundational piece to their rebuilding core alongside Scoot Henderson and Shaedon Sharpe.

In this year's draft, Portland aimed to find high-upside, versatile wings who can contribute in multiple ways. The issue with most of the lottery prospects who could be available at No. 14 is that many of them were questionable fits as shooters, such as Ron Holland. The Blazers address their needs in Avdija, who is a sure-fire starter rather than someone who may not have panned out at all, particularly in a weak draft class.

They still have an excellent opportunity to swing on a high-upside flier at No. 7, but this trade ensures they come away with an established player that still fits into their timeline.