Blazers trade rumors have taken an interesting turn. Portland Trail Blazers players want the NBA trade deadline to come and go with the roster remaining intact. A new report from the Oregonian has shed a lot of light on recent Blazers trade rumors but also showcases just how close the current roster has become.
The 2016 NBA trade deadline comes at 12 p.m. PT on February 18. This gives the Portland Trail Blazers another day to make deals for the second half of the season. In a previous report from the Oregonian, Damian Lillard was quoted about what he would like to see after the All-Star break.
Lillard stated, “I would like to come back in this locker room and see my same guys.” Ed Davis voiced a similar idea, stating that “We were projected to be last in the West. Right? We’re seventh, we’re playing well, why would you make a move?”
Davis isn’t wrong. When the Blazers traded away Nicolas Batum and lost LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, and Robin Lopez to free agency, most NBA analysts predicted that Portland would be a lottery team again. The team did start out slow but has recently begun to gel on the court. Heading into the All-Star break, the Portland Trail Blazers won eight of 10 games, including a three-game winning streak to close out the first half. The team is now 27-27 and in the seventh playoff spot for the Western Conference.
Regarding the Blazers trade rumors, at one time or another in the past few weeks, the team has been linked to Blake Griffin of the LA Clippers, Greg Monroe of the Milwaukee Bucks, Rudy Gay of the Sacramento Kings, and even Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Blazers also had trade discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves about acquiring guard Shabazz Muhammad. The Wolves want Allen Crabbe in return, though, which caused the Blazers to cool on the negotiations.
There are still a lot of Portland Trail Blazers trade rumors floating around, even though the front office doesn’t seem very keen on giving up young assets or draft picks to make any acquisitions. This is because the Blazers are in an enviable position when it comes to the 2016-17 NBA season. The team is way under the salary cap this year and next year. This season, the team has about $48.6 million in salaries (the Cleveland Cavaliers are over $110 million), and next year the team is at about $46.4 million. This will give the Blazers immense flexibility in free agency.
What could happen in the next 24 hours is that the Blazers could help facilitate a multi-team trade that nets the team assets. An example would be the Blazers absorbing a contract like the one David Lee has with the Boston Celtics. Lee is on the books for $15.5 million and the Blazers would only have to pay the remainder of his salary for this season. In order to entice the Blazers to get involved, several draft picks could be offered as compensation. In this case, the Blazers could then simply release Lee, place him on waivers, or add him as depth to the current roster.
With the great chemistry that the Portland Trail Blazers have shown this season and the coaching style of Terry Stotts, this is suddenly a team with the potential to make some noise in the 2016 NBA Playoffs. The Blazers will have an immediate test following the All-Star break, as they host the Golden State Warriors on Friday, February 19. This could serve as a preview of a possible first-round playoff series between the Blazers and Warriors.
[Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images]