OTG's NBA Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 5
*Portland Trail Blazers send a 2019 first round draft pick to the Orlando Magic.
The Blazers are getting serious!
Orlando is tied for the worst record in the league with the Atlanta Hawks & Sacramento Kings. All have just 13 wins they are the dumpster fires of the season. I still have my money on the Hawks finishing last, but give the Magic and Kings credit. They really want to be just as bad. Orlando seems prepared to get worse, reports are surfacing that they are ready to trade Evan Fournier, Elfrid Payton, and Mario Hezonja.
The Portland Trail Blazers remain a surprise, but like, not really a surprise. They remain a tough gritty team, lead by the duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. We’ve seen that on the defensive end, this team can really slow others down. Blazers are simply lacking the firepower to compete with the upper teams in the Western Conference. Three-point shooting being the one area in particular that needs addressing.
Yes, the Trail Blazers are 5th in 3-point shooting (37.5), but numbers are deceiving. The Blazers attempt just the 23rd most 3-pointers in the league (25.8). Lillard and McCollum are responsible for taking (13.8), 3-point shots a game. So, if I was the GM. I’m looking around for offense, and that leads me to Orlando. The Magic busted through the gates early this season, then the Magic ran out of magic.
Now for the deal, the Trail Blazers send young Moe Harkless along with Noah Vonleh an expiring contract and their 2019 first round draft pick for, Evan Fournier. Orlando wants draft picks and young players at this point. For the Blazers, it’s about getting talent around Lillard and McCollum as quickly as possibly.
Evan Fournier who is just 25, is having his best season to date as he has become more of a focal point in the offense. Evan Fournier is signed though 2020-2021, which would help keep stability alongside Lillard and McCollum. Fournier who has never had much talent around him would become a spot up shooter and be the third option on offense. Fournier would give the Blazers their first forward who can shoot since Nicolas Batum. Now clearly this doesn’t move the needle to contender, it doesn’t even strike fear in the hearts of contending teams. However, it shows Lillard, the face of the franchise, that they are committed to trying to better a mediocre roster.
*Stats and info accurate as of 1/19/18