Norman Powell and Robert Covington were stolen by the Clippers. It was highway robbery. It had to be some sort of an assault. It was definitely a fleecing. Fraud? The police should be called, or perhaps a missing persons report filed, because the Blazers just lost two starters and the return is dreadful.
The Portland Trail Blazers traded Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Los Angeles Clippers Friday for Eric Bledsoe, Justice Winslow, Keon Johnson, and a 2025 2nd rnd pick via Detroit. Ugh. Nasty. I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Eric Bledsoe is only guaranteed $3.9 million of his $19.4 million next season. They would have to waive him by June 30th or pay him in full. They will likely try and trade him before the deadline or during the draft to bring back a player of equal contract value at a position of need. If they can’t trade him, they will waive him.
Portland will use 6’6 Justice Winslow as a 3-4. He is a versatile player who’s tough and physical game will cater to Chauncey Billups system that preaches defensive minded play. He is a capable passer. He was shooting just .15% from three and .51% from the field for the Clippers this season. He has averaged 8.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists for his career.
Rookie Keon Johnson was taken in place of a 1st rnd pick by Portland. Johnson, a long term project Is perhaps the most compelling piece of Portland’s take in the trade. He is a high flyer with a 48″ vertical leap and 41.5″ vertical jump. The Blazers prize his athleticism and his potential to be a high energy defensive presence. He has already shown ability to lock down opponents on defense. He will have plenty of time to show what he is capable of.
This trade shows the Blazers hand. A rebuild, at least a quick if not extended one. Some call this pulling the band off. But, oh it hurts. The sting will take time to dissipate, especially with rumors the Blazers passed up better deals to quickly get under the luxury tax threshold. The lack of value is astonishing. No first round picks. No players of substance. What the hell are the Blazers thinking? I guess we will find out, but it seems getting out of the tax is more important for Berte Kolde and Jody Allen than putting a winning team around Lillard. Maybe it takes one to get to the other.