The 2021 NBA trade deadline is on March 25th, just over two weeks away. There will be some big names on the move. Blockbuster trades will happen. Some involving multiple teams. Don’t expect Blazers and general manager Neil Olshey to be part of that.
If you are hoping Olshey will make a big move to help the Blazers down the stretch or falling for rumors that CJ McCollum might finally be shipped out, sorry to disappoint you. It’s not happening.
There will be no mega tsunami of a move that suddenly makes Portland an out front contender. We might see Rodney Hood or Zach Collins moved. Maybe…maybe Anfernee Simons. Probably for a value role player with a cheaper price tag to make more room to grab someone off the buyout market. There could be some future 2nd picks involved. My goodness. But, that’s about it and I’ll tell you why.
First, Neil Olshey doesn’t really make big moves at the deadline. He saves his more ambitious trades for the offseason. Case in point, below I have listed all of Olshey’s moves at the deadline since he became GM in 2012.
Other than the trade for Nurkic (that also netted Collins) his other mid-season moves were directed at ridding unwanted contracts for future picks or cap space to stay under the tax or to bring in a sufficient back up guard or a young player like Labissiere who hopes pans out.
Second, Olshey is all about value. He isnt a high ender. He is like a thrift store shopper trying to find those hidden gems. His M.O. is to go after what he sees as diamonds in the rough. Players teams have given up on that might just need a change of scenery to develop. He is a man of low risk, high reward.
He had a chance to go after James Harden earlier this season, after he added the Blazers to his list. But, it didn’t happen. Likely, Houston was asking for more than Olshey wanted to give. He likes to hold his cards close. It would have been a big risk moving CJ McCollum and others for Harden. Maybe too big.
The thing is Olshey can only play it safe for so long before Lillard’s window is up. One can only depend on hoping to luck out on unproven past 1st rnd picks that come cheaply for so long. That might work out well when your star is young, but as the window closes you have to be willing to take more risks. Smart risks…calculated risks, but risks all the same.
Third, Olshey won’t make any sudden moves this deadline as he wants to see what the roster looks like healthy. Not only is Olshey about value, but also continuity. He wants to see the current iteration of the Blazers in its best form with CJ and Nurkic back. To do that will mean holding off on moves till the offseason.
Also, the Blazers are at a disadvantage. They are sitting right at the tax line and don’t have the flexibility of taking on other large contracts or to trade multiple players for one, as they don’t have the space to sign multiple FA’s to fill the roster spots.
So, expect a quite deadline. A small trade, a signing off the buyout market, or a contract dump.
Blazers Deadline Trades (Olshey as GM)
Blazers trade the rights to Georgios Prentezis and a TPE to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Eric Maynor.
No Moves at the deadline
The Blazers trade Will Barton, Victor Claver, Thomas, a 2016 1st rnd pick (Malik Beasely), and TPEs for Aaron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee.
The Blazers trade cash and a TPE to the Miami Heat for Brian Roberts and a 2021 2nd rnd pick (traded to Memphis as part of Kanter trade?)
The Blazers trade a 2020 2nd rnd pick (Vernon Carey Jr) and TPE to the Cavaliers for Anderson Varejao and a 2018 1st rnd pick (Moritz Wagner).
The Blazers made their move early before the deadline trading Mason Plumlee and 2018 2nd rnd pick(Shake Milton) for Jusuf Nurkic and a 2017 1st rnd pick (Harry Giles)(Traded with 2017 1st rnd pick #15 Justin Jackson to the Kibgs for #10 Zach Collins.)
The Blazers trade Noah Vonleh and cash to the Chicago Bulls for the rights to Milovan Rakovic and a TPE.
The Blazers traded Caleb Swanigan to the Sacramento Kings for Skal Labissiere and a TPE.
The Blazers trade Nik Stauskas, Wade Baldwin, and 2 future 2nd picks (2021,2023) for Rodney Hood.
The Blazers trade Skal Labissiere and cash to the Atlanta Hawks for a 2024 2nd rnd pick and a TPE.
The Blazers trade Kent Bazemore, Anthony Tolliver, and 2 future 2nd rnd picks to the Sacramento Kings for Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swanigan, and Wenyen Gabriel.