With the Portland Trail Blazers struggling to consistently win games earlier in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors have started to swirl that they are planning to be active on the trade market before the 2020 February trade deadline. The team may have the explosive backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, but they obviously need some help in their frontcourt. In his recent article, Eric Griffith of SB Nation’s Blazer’s Edge suggested that the Trail Blazers could explore the possibility of using Hassan Whiteside’s expiring contract as a trade chip to acquire All-Star-caliber forwards like Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers or Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons.
Adding a player like Love or Griffin to their core would not only help Portland fully dominate the Western Conference, but it could also give them a legitimate chance of contending for the 2020 NBA championship title. The potential arrival of Love or Griffin would help ease the loads on Lillard and McCollum’s shoulders on the offensive end of the floor, since both power forwards could attract the opposing team’s defense whether inside the paint or in the three-point range.
However, trading Love or Griffin to the Trail Blazers in exchange for Whiteside’s expiring contract only makes sense for the Cavaliers or the Pistons if they are already planning to undergo a rebuilding process. Also, it is highly unlikely that either team would agree to trade their superstars for just salary cap relief. In the potential deal involving Love or Griffin, the Trail Blazers should be willing to give up a young player and a future draft pick. As Griffith noted, they could offer a trade package including Whiteside, Zach Collins or Nassir Little, and a 2020 first-round draft pick to acquire Love or Griffin from their respective teams.
As of now, the Cavaliers and the Pistons haven’t shown any strong indication that they are planning to move their superstars. However, if those teams continue to struggle and find themselves out of the playoff race in the 2019-20 NBA season, Love and Griffin’s names will likely surface in various trade rumors before the trade deadline.
Though the players have yet to demand a trade, most fans would definitely prefer to see both superstars playing for a legitimate title contender like the Trail Blazers than wasting their primes staying with a rebuilding or a mediocre team. Once one of them becomes officially available on the trading block, expect the Trail Blazers to make a move to acquire them.