OTG's NBA Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 20
*Portland sends their 2018 lottery protected first round pick to Los Angeles*
With the Blake Griffin trade, it is clear the Clippers are looking to rebuild with the future in mind. DeAndre Jordan is in a contract year and will probably command more money in free agency than the Clippers are comfortable paying for a guy who won’t take them into championship contention. With this trade, they get a promising young center in Nurkic who is considerably younger than Jordan and will probably be cheaper to retain in free agency. They also receive a first rounder in exchange for taking on Meyers Leonard’s ugly contract and Ed Davis who can be a solid contributor off the bench for the rest of the season.
The Trail Blazers success has been predicated on the performance of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The dynamic scoring backcourt has carried the Blazers into the playoffs for the last two years and look to be on track to do it again. However, while the rest of the Western Conference has teams on the come up like the Timberwolves and the Rockets, the Trail Blazers have seemed stagnant. They had a nice run after they traded for Nurkic last season that got them into the playoffs but this season they are still in the bottom half of Western playoff teams at the 6th seed, barely ahead of the Pelicans in the standings. Jordan’s athleticism would give McCollum and Lillard a pick and roll partner on offense that could make them even more dangerous on that end and help cover their liabilities on defense. The Blazers will have the rest of the season to evaluate his fit on the team and if all goes well, they can re-sign him over the summer to a lucrative but hopefully short term deal.