Portland could still use the pick to take a quality player. It seems that before we see any of these players play that the top two players in the draft are going to be significantly better than the third best, thus making their pick not as valuable as they had hoped. Drafting a player with the number three pick may prove to be another player who isn’t ready to take this team to the playoffs.
The Trail Blazers and, more importantly, Dame Lillard are looking to win right now. Trading the pick may be the best way to do that and keep Dame happy and in Portland. Let’s look at some trades that could be made to get the pick.
No. 3 pick, Keon Johnson, and Justice Winslow for Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan
Portland will get a borderline star in Keldon Johnson who has now proven he is a quality scorer in this league. In Johnson’s fourth year in the league he averaged 22 points per game. Portland would also get a young promising player in Jeremy Sochan who can also play now. The Blazers in turn would give up the pick and filler salary to the rebuilding Spurs.
No. 3 pick and Jusuf Nurkic for Mikal Bridges and the No. 22 pick
Mikal Bridges broke out after he was traded from Phoenix to Brooklyn last year but maybe the Nets don’t want to build around him? Brooklyn then could trade him for a quality starting center and the No. 3 pick to get a cheaper, young player. Brooklyn also saves $5 million per year over the next four years in this proposed deal. Portland would additionally get the No. 22 pick from Brooklyn to draft a center if they want if they don’t trust the combination of Drew Eubanks and Trendon Watford.
Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Damian_Lillard_against_the_Cleveland_Cavaliers.jpg