Portland Trail Blazers: Five trades that would make team title favorites next season

DeMar DeRozan and Blake Griffin are possible trade targets for the Blazers. [Image Source: SmashDown Sports/Flickr]
DeMar DeRozan and Blake Griffin are possible trade targets for the Blazers. [Image Source: SmashDown Sports/Flickr]

The Blazers would really shake things up if they can pull off one of these potential trades.

NBA

The Portland Trail Blazers have seen it all since joining the NBA in 1970. After winning a championship in 1977, the Blazers have gone through a series of heartbreaks, shortcomings, and mishaps.

But this year could be special again. Coming off a conference finals appearance, the current team is on the precipice of achieving something only Bill Walton and his guys had achieved in Blazers’ lore.

Over the summer, general manager Neil Olshey had drastically remodeled his roster without breaking up the dynamic one-two punch of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. He signed his starting point and shooting guards to multi-year extensions, ensuring stability on the Blazers’ backcourt for the next 4 to 5 years.

After that, he surrounded them with several shot-creators like Kent Bazemore, Mario Hezonja and Rodney Hood.

Young prospects Anfernee Simmons, Zach Collins, and Nasir Little are only going to improve this season, while Hassan Whiteside and Pau Gasol are expected to provide depth at the center spot to offset Jusuf Nurkic’s extended absence due to a leg injury.

Overall, this team can compete for at least a top-4 spot in a loaded Western Conference. They have the scoring, length and versatility to go mano-y-mano with the best teams in the league.

Still, something is missing on this squad. If the Blazers truly want to seize the opportunity of having a wide-open league, then they have to pull off a gambit that would put them over the top. They need a trade that will turn them into a bona fide title favorite next season.

1

Hassan Whiteside, first-round pick for Kevin Love

Love has been linked to the Blazers for quite some time. And why not? Love was a local star during his high-school days in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Moreover, the former All-Star forward would mesh up pretty well with the team because of his ability to space the floor and rebound at efficient rate. Of course, we’re just operating on the assumption that the Cavs are now ready to push youth movement.

2

Hassan Whiteside, Skal Labissierre, two protected first-round picks for Blake Griffin, Markieff Morris

Like the K-Love trade, a potential Blake Griffin deal has been floating around for months, maybe years, because of the player’s ties to Olshey, who took the All-Star forward No.1 overall in the 2009 NBA Draft during his time with the Clippers. But for this to happen, the Pistons must have a pretty bad season to even think of dealing away their franchise player. A package of Griffin and another serviceable forward in Morris would provide firepower and depth at power forward.

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