With the commerce deadline quickly approaching, the Portland Trail Blazers should resolve whether or not to carry ’em or fold ’em.
At 21-22, the Blazers at the moment sit in ninth place in the Western Conference. A pair of wins towards the Dallas Mavericks over the weekend put them again in the playoff image in the extraordinarily tight standings. However, the workforce cannot get too snug with simply 0.5-game separating it from groups outdoors the playoff image.
The Blazers have been considered one of the loudest groups at the commerce deadline final season, sending CJ McCollum to the New Orleans Pelicans and Norman Powell and Robert Covington to the Los Angeles Clippers. Portland has performed all the things in its energy to attempt to salvage a contending workforce round Damian Lillard, which leaves the door open for an additional potential blockbuster commerce.
Bleacher Report recognized every workforce’s finest blockbuster commerce asset and selected rookie Shaedon Sharpe, with Anfernee Simons an in depth second.
Anfernee Simons got here oh-so-close to populating this house. His mix of off-the-dribble shot-making, spot-up snipery, leveled-up ball motion and detonative athleticism is anomalous for a guard, and at solely 23, he retains that prospect-age sheen.
Teams flirting with a rebuild do not at all times goal gamers into their second contract. But Simons’ four-year, $100 million deal all of a sudden appears filth low-cost.
Shaedon Sharpe will get the go-ahead anyway.
It’d be simpler to fit him behind Simons on the asset scale if 1) the Portland Trail Blazers weren’t extra more likely to prioritize maintaining Simons as a part of any win-now home-run swing and a pair of) Sharpe did not already look so rattling good.
Human bounce homes that defy and disprove gravity are at all times polarizing. But Sharpe already appears like far more than his put-back yams and cruel throwdowns. He is a reasonably intuitive cutter, has dropped in 46-plus % of his catch-and-shoot triples (albeit on modest quantity) and semi-routinely exhibits the bandwidth to knock down troublesome jumpers. His 46.2 % clip on pull-up twos deserves extra consideration.
A potential vendor like the Toronto Raptors, angling for a fast turnaround, ought to have extra curiosity in Simons. Overall, although, Sharpe is the extra standard blockbuster prospect—a 19-year-old barely into his rookie-scale deal who oozes could-be-anything chance.
This does not imply Sharpe can be dealt, nor are we insinuating this might, would or ought to occur. However, if the Blazers need to take an enormous swing, the opposing workforce would probably ask for Sharpe in a return bundle.
As a rookie, Sharpe has already flashed his upside, averaging 7.5 factors whereas enjoying almost 20 minutes per recreation. As he grows extra snug with the NBA recreation, Sharpe will see these numbers rise.
The Blazers clearly like Sharpe, having chosen to take him in the draft as an alternative of buying and selling the choose once they had the probability to. He’s actually somebody Portland has in its long-term plans, but when the proper blockbuster deal comes alongside, it might come at a heavy value.