Kevin Love

Why Kevin Love to Portland wouldn't be worth it for Trail Blazers

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Why Kevin Love to Portland wouldn't be worth it for Trail Blazers

The words Portland and Kevin Love seem like two things destined to collide. 

Uttered in the same breath, used in the same sentence... and it’s not because people have suddenly realized that Love hails from the Portland area.

Nope, the Lake Oswego native has been discussed in various trade rumors, and even more so now that he showed his frustration over the past few days about the direction of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Which, by the way, Love has since apologized for his behavior, which he deemed as “childish.”

Thursday, NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh discussed three potential teams that he believes would be the best fit for Love’s services. 

1. The Portland Trail Blazers

2. The Toronto Raptors

3. The Phoenix Suns

So, why the Blazers at No. 1? 

Haberstroh believes now, more than ever, Portland needs to take a risk while Damian Lillard is in his prime.  

Plus, Portland is “desperate for bigs.”

Haberstroh wrote:

 

Love’s contract seems to be the first roadblock. Suitors will have to absorb a deal that will pay Love an average of $30.5 million for another three seasons after this current one. For many, that’s a steep price to pay for a player on the wrong side of 30. Also, teams have to match Love’s current salary number of $28.9 million in any deal, either by bundling smaller deals together or swapping out an equally large salary.... 

 

To me, bringing the Portland native home is the most likely scenario. After inking Damian Lillard to a supermax extension this past summer, the injury-riddled Blazers are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since Lillard’s rookie season, a steep dropoff from last season’s Western Conference finals. As Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes told me on last week’s Habershow podcast, this isn’t exactly what Lillard signed up for. 

At 16-22, the Blazers are desperate for bigs with Jusuf Nurkic (broken leg) still sidelined and Zach Collins facing potentially season-ending shoulder surgery. Carmelo Anthony, though he’s played admirably after a year away from the game, is not a long-term solution. 

The Blazers are sitting on two lottery tickets that could go up in smoke if they aren’t used in the next month. Hassan Whiteside’s $27 million expiring contract and Kent Bazemore’s $19.3 million expiring contract can be traded for star players on teams that may be looking to clean up their cap sheet.

Haberstroh also discussed that Love could help free up some attention from Lillard and McCollum.

All of the above is true. Moving Carmelo Anthony over to play more of three spot and Love at the four could work nicely for the rest of the season.

And, it could work in the future; however, the Blazers would have to make a decision on sticking with Zach Collins as their starting power forward or going with the veteran in Love once Collins is healthy enough to play again. The Trail Blazers seem to be all-in on Collins as part of the future of their franchise. Could that change? Maybe. But, at a huge cost.

With the amount of money Love is owed, which is a ton, does Portland really want to take that much of a risk on a guy who has become injury prone? Haven’t they dealt with enough injuries this season? Wouldn't they rather dig in with a younger, less expensive with tremendous potential?

If they do bring Love aboard, you don't want a guy making $30 million coming off your bench or sidelined by injury. 

And then there is the question of Love really wants.

Yes, Love would fit into Terry Stotts’ system nicely (who doesn't)--  a big that can space the floor, but would he be happy in Portland

Sure, he’s not happy in Cleveland, but there have been rumblings that he’s never been a very proactive guy in saying he wants to move back and play for his hometown team.

Also, with so much speculation surrounding Love to Portland, doesn’t it make more sense for Neil Olshey to throw a curveball? I mean, who was expecting the Jusuf Nurkic trade? Olshey has his own way of doing things and look how well the Nurk trade has turned out.

So yes, Love to Portland may look like an obvious choice, but will it actually happen?

Hopefully for Love and Blazers fans’ sake, everyone will know well before the trade deadline of February 6th. 

Read more from Haberstroh HERE.

31 going on 13: Kevin Love responds to his child-like behavior

31 going on 13: Kevin Love responds to his child-like behavior

Something is going on with Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. 

The Cavs are riding a four-game losing streak that started with a 20-point loss at the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 31. Since then, Love has been seen slapping the leather chairs on the bench, flailing his arms up in the air at teammates and a rumored outburst at GM Koby Altman.

Love responded on his Instagram with a photo and caption explaining his side of it all:

And on Tuesday, Love addressed the media for the first time since his outbursts:

“I was frustrated and let my emotions get the best of me. It was on New Years Eve in Toronto. We were down 15, 17 points heading into half and that carried over into the second half. I wasn’t acting like a 31-year-old, I was acting like a 13-year-old. I ended up hitting the seat, screaming into the towel, and got into it with coach saying ‘take me out so I can collect myself.’

Obviously this has been extremely tough, especially with what our record indicates. It was a conversation that we had but nothing about any blowup, there was no blowup, there was no me talking about how much money I have. I’m an a**hole but I’m not that big of an a**hole.”

The reason this is relevant to Portland, is the NBA trade deadline coming up in a month. Will the Trail Blazers make a roster move and will that involve the Portland-native Kevin Love? The Trail Blazers (15-22) have a shortage of big men with injuries to Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins, Skal Labissier, leaving just Hassan Whiteside and two-way player Moses Brown active on the roster.

[RELATED]: Did Cavaliers latest move pave the way for Kevin Love trade?

In his 11th NBA season, Love is averaging 16.4 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Haynes: "[Lillard] didn’t sign up to be on a team like this... there will be a move made"

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Haynes: "[Lillard] didn’t sign up to be on a team like this... there will be a move made"

We are exactly one month away from the NBA trade deadline.

We repeat, one month!

As the rumor mill continues to churn, the Trail Blazers trade chatter is heating up.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports caught up with NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh on the latest Habershow Podcast to discuss the latest surrounding the Blazers' trade rumors.

Haynes has no doubt the Trail Blazers, who are currently 15-22, will make a move.

With two valuable expiring contracts, that’s to be expected. 

“There will be a move made, for sure,” Haynes said. “It’s hard for me to believe that Hassan Whiteside and Kent Bazemore will still be there past the trade deadline.”

As Haberstroh discussed, Bazemore and Whiteside’s expiring contracts are worth a lot with Bazemore at 19 million and Whiteside at 27 million.

Haynes discussed how the Blazers are constructed at the moment is not what Portland is looking for with Damian Lillard in his prime. 

They just expire and that’s why it’s hard for me to believe that they’ll be on the roster past that deadline. A move will be made. This is Dame’s spot. He just signed his super max this past summer. He didn’t sign up to be on a team like this. Nobody thought this was going to be the team. The front office, it’s their call now. It’s their play. I know Terry Stotts is going to get a lot of heat for what’s been going on this season, and likely so. He’s the coach. He’s got to take some blame, but I think we all see flaws in this roster. – Chris Haynes from Yahoo! Sports

Does Haynes believe the Trial Blazers could land Kevin Love?

Maybe.

“I don’t know if Kevin Love is the call,” Haynes said. “I don’t know if they end up getting him. I just have a hard time looking at the assets that Portland has and it’s hard for me to believe that that’s enough to get Kevin Love. But stranger things have happened.”

The Yahoo! Sports NBA Insider does, however, think the Trail Blazers may have enough to offer Cleveland if they really wanted to go out and land the All-Star big man.

“I believe they have the assets, and I don’t believe they’ll deal Anfernee [Simons] and Zach [Collins]. He [Neil Olshey] loves that kid [Anfernee]. I look at Whiteside too. The deal is attractive, expiring deals, but then you got to go in there with that young roster, with those young, impressionable guys and Cleveland could definitely make a move after that trade if they wanted to. I don’t know if he’s [Kevin Love] the right fit -- locker room wise -- with those guys even for half a season or less than that. But Zach and Anfernee, if those guys are in play, and I have a hard time believing they are, you could make a case that Portland has the best package to offer Cleveland out there.”

Of course, there has already been a lot made about Love potentially coming back to play in his hometown of Portland, and he has made it known he wants out of Cleveland, that’s for sure. 

But, does he want to be trading to Rip City? Dwight Jaynes doesn’t think so.  

If not Love, then who could be another potential target?

Here’s a short list of other potential top targets that teams are rumored to be open to dealing before the trade deadline:

-- Pistons Andre Drummond

-- Grizzlies Andre Iguodala

-- Thunder Steven Adams

(Or really anyone on the OKC roster)

-- Wizards Davis Bertans

-- Kings Dewayne Dedmon

-- Knicks Marcus Morris

Don’t expect any move to happen right away.

It sounds like teams are weighing their options and won’t pull the trigger until closer to the February 6th deadline.

But as always we are continuing to keep our finger on the pulse. Keep it locked here at NBCSNW.com. 

LISTEN TO ENTIRE HABERSHOW PODCAST WITH CHRIS HAYNES HERE: 

Kevin Love wants to play in Portland? I want to hear that from him

Kevin Love wants to play in Portland? I want to hear that from him

Rumors are circulating once again that Kevin Love is urging the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him. And, it seems, every time those stories are written, it’s said that he would prefer a trade to the Trail Blazers.

Portland has the ability to make such a trade, using the expiring contract of Hassan Whiteside.

But I’m not entirely sure where that information about Love's desire is coming from. As far as I know, the former Lake Oswego resident has never publicly said that. And until I hear it come from his mouth, I’m not buying it.

In fact, people I know who are familiar with his situation, or close to the Cavaliers, have told me that they have not heard any particular wish from him to return to his hometown.

Many NBA players, in fact, do not desire a return home.

I have no idea what Love truly wants, but I’m not going to fall for unsubstantiated rumors of what he thinks or desires.

And if I were in his situation and had spent my career playing in Minnesota and Cleveland, I would be wishing for a warm-weather city.

And if I were a team interested in trading for him, I would certainly make sure he was all-in on coming to my franchise.

 Particularly in his hometown, which can be a touchy situation.

Kevin Love sure seems like a guy who is going to get traded soon

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Kevin Love sure seems like a guy who is going to get traded soon

Who knows what will happen if Kevin Love isn’t traded soon.

Saturday during Cleveland’s shootaround, Love expressed how he is not happy about the direction of the team with “an emotional outburst toward general manager Koby Altman,” that’s according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.  

Charania also reported that Love was screaming that there is “no feel here,” as the Cavaliers have accelerated their rebuild year. Love’s outburst came in front of teammates, the Cavs coaching staff and members of the front office.  

Saturday’s blowup is no surprise.

Love has been showing his frustration with his situation this season, but as yet to publicly ask for a trade.

If he were to ask for one, however, it's been reported he'd prefer to land in his hometown team of the Portland Trail Blazers.

However, he did share a public post to his Instagram after Saturday's shootaround. 

Love’s caption read: “Mood” with a Joker photo.

View this post on Instagram

Mood.

A post shared by Kevin Love (@kevinlove) on

The 31 year old is averaging 16.6 points and 10.5 boards in 29 games this season. Cleveland is now 10-25 overall after losing to the Thunder Saturday night, 121-106.

My how things have changed since Love signed his contract extension in July of 2018.

During his press conference following his new deal, Love expressed how he hopes his name won’t come up in trade rumors anymore.

James Rapien of Cleland’s 92.3 The Fan reposted the 2018 interview to Twitter.

This is where I wanted to be, I’ve said that all along. --Kevin Love in July of 2018

Well, that has to make Cavs fans cringe.

So, now the question is when will the trade happen?

It’s gotta happen, right? 

And, how many Trail Blazers fans are still hoping he will be traded to play in his hometown? 

Love fits the profile of a player Olshey has targeted in the past: A player who has fallen out of favor with his team and is looking for another chance. 

He's in the first year of his 4-year, $120 million contract extension. Love’s contract was set to expire at the end of this season with a player option for 2019-2020. The Lake Oswego native will be under contract until 2022-‘23. While a contract this size and this early into it may seem like a tough pill to swallow, Olshey's preference would be to trade the team's expiring contracts for ones with longer terms. 

Things seem like they're starting to add up...

Grab your popcorn things might get worse before they get better for Love and it may be to Portland's benefit. 

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Does Jordan Clarkson trade open door for Kevin Love to Portland?

Does Jordan Clarkson trade open door for Kevin Love to Portland?

The Cleveland Cavaliers traded Jordan Clarkson to the Utah Jazz on Monday in return for Donte Exum and two second-round draft picks in a move that surprised many around the NBA. 

Clarkson has been a prolific bench scorer for the Cavaliers this season, while Exum is having the worst year of his career and has never come close to the expectations set by being the fifth overall pick in 2014. 

The move proved three things to us:
1) The Jazz are serious and gearing up to be a real postseason threat.
2) The Cavs have let the first domino fall, showing their intent to go into full sell mode.
3) If the Blazers hope to make the postseason and go on a run, they need to make moves. The teams around them are, and they can't afford to be left behind. 

One potential move for Portland may have had the door open just a little wider. That is to say, with the Cavs dealing Clarkson, have they opened the door for Kevin Love to come home?

Love has long been linked to the Blazers, and Portland is in desperate need of help at power forward. The one hangup we have been hearing is that the asking price for Love is too high. But the Clarkson trade hints that Cleveland may be willing to give up some players for less than their actual value. 

Exum is nowhere near the talent of Clarkson, and him coupled with second-round picks was all it took to snatch Clarkson from Cleveland. The move didn't even offer Cleveland that much financial relief. Clarkson has a $13.4 million expiring deal, while Exum is making  $9.6 million and is under contract through next season as well. 

To sum it up: Cleveland sent 14.6 points per game Utah for $3.8 million in cap relief and some picks. Those in pursuit of Love have to be salivating. 

Kevin Love is making $28.9 million this season, so the only financial way you pull the trade off is by using Hassan Whiteside's $27.1 million contract. That would give the Cavs a big expiring deal, and if you throw in a pick it could be enough to grab Love. But given how well Whiteside has been playing, it might be Cleveland that has to throw a pick to Portland. 

Love may not be the player fans want, but Cleveland has shown he is there for the taking. Portland needs to do something to help salvage the season and keep hopes alive for a deep playoff run. That something could be a former Oregonian looking to come home. 
 

The big-time players the Trail Blazers are probably NOT going after

The big-time players the Trail Blazers are probably NOT going after

Earlier this week, I wrote about what the Trail Blazers might do in the wake of the injury to Rodney Hood and the troubles the team is having winning games without its injured players.

I said I did not expect any moves to be made that were not long-term moves – trades that would help beyond this season.

It’s time to go more in-depth on that topic because there are rumors out there about players who do not fit into that category. Portland will be shopping the expiring contracts of Hassan Whiteside and possibly Kent Bazemore, in order to swing a deal for a major piece – perhaps the last big deal the team will be able to make for a few seasons.

So, quite obviously, that means acquiring players with more than this season left on their contracts. In other words, unless they get stuck without a better deal, they would probably not be looking to trade an expiring contract for another expiring contract.

If you look at their search in that context, you can eliminate several talented players who have been mentioned as possibilities by the national media.

Among those players whose contracts expire this season:

Danilo Gallinari

Gordon Hayward

Paul Millsap

Bogdan Bogdanovic

DeMar DeRozen

Otto Porter Jr.

Anthony Davis

Andre Drummond

Understand, too, that it appears Davis and Drummond are expected to stay with their current teams and most of the other players on that list would probably not commit to re-signing with Portland without first testing the market this summer. Porter is a player the Trail Blazers have coveted, but without a commitment to re-sign here that they could trust, it would be a gamble.

Trading the expiring contract of Whiteside is perhaps the team’s last best chance of landing a big-time starter for what this team expects to be a championship core. Would you do it for a player you cannot count on to be back next season? Especially with what’s going on this year. What was supposed to be a run at the Finals is looking more and more like a pipedream. But with the expected return of Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins next season and beyond, the hope of a big run is still alive.

That’s why the players with major seasons (and major money) left on their deals are the most likely targets. The most-often mentioned are Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Love has been mentioned frequently, but is a question mark. There was a report that Portland is his favored destination, but I have not been able to substantiate that and, in fact, have been told by people close to him that the report is not necessarily true. And the other concern with Love – who is obviously a terrific player with championship pedigree – are his injuries. Over his last three seasons, he has played 60, 59, and 22 games. At an average salary of $30.1 million over the next three seasons, his availability is a concern.

Griffin, also a spectacular player, has the same problem. Over the last six seasons, he’s played in an average of only 38 games per season.

Aldridge, more durable than the others, carries some concern at 34 years old, that his career would be nearing a decline – and he also has only one season left on his contract.

One other thing should be mentioned, too. There is a very good chance that Whiteside’s contract alone might not be enough to land any of these players. Some sweetening might be required to make a trade for players who have been all-stars.

Would the Trail Blazers include a first-round pick in a deal? Yes, I think they would. But would they be willing to throw in Collins? Anfernee Simons?

I don’t know. I do believe that over the next couple of seasons, any of the three players just mentioned would be better for them than the young ones. But after that, not so sure. If they include one of their promising young players, that would mean they are going all-in for the next couple of seasons in a search for a championship. And perhaps paying a price for it in the seasons after that.

Kevin Love ‘prefers’ Portland Trail Blazers as his trade destination

Kevin Love ‘prefers’ Portland Trail Blazers as his trade destination

The rumors of Kevin Love coming home to Portland surfaced once again on Tuesday morning.

According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, former All-Star and Lake Oswego native Kevin Love would prefer to be traded to the Portland Trail Blazers

Earlier this week, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly been more open to trading All-Star Kevin Love after a 5-18 start to the season. He’s in the first season of his four-year, $120 million extension he signed following the 2018 season. He currently averages 15.6 points and 10.6 rebounds a game for the Cavs. 

The Blazers have the salary space to make a trade work with the expiring contracts of Hassan Whiteside ($27.1 million) and Kent Bazemore ($19.3 million) and the Cavaliers should desire cap relief from Love’s monstrous deal while they rebuild. 

Portland needs relief at the forward and center positions after injuries to Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins, and Rodney Hood. Kevin Love would be able to play both power forward and center, while spacing the floor to give Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum more room to operate. 

Kevin O’Connor thinks that Love would fit great in Portland.

“Nurkic will return this season, and Love would be a terrific frontcourt partner because of his perimeter shooting and playmaking ability. Portland could then play big upfront, which would be valuable in a series against a team with a bigger frontcourt, like the Lakers. Or, it could go with Love at center, which could be useful against the Rockets, who often size down with P.J. Tucker at center."

Would you want to see Kevin Love sporting a red and white pinwheel on his chest, Rip City?

Here's what I think the Trail Blazers are going to do -- and I support it

Here's what I think the Trail Blazers are going to do -- and I support it

In the wake of Monday night’s nasty home loss in Moda Center to the Oklahoma City Thunder and the season-ending injury to Rodney Hood, a lot of people seem to think the Portland Trail Blazers need to make a move. A trade, a free-agent signing – SOMETHING. But here’s what I think they will do:

Nothing.

And I think that’s the right course of action, too.

This team has been ripped apart by injuries. Last season’s No. 1 offensive rebounding team in the NBA, the Trail Blazers are now last in the league in that department. From first to worst in a few months. And why not? This team opened the season with thoughts of eventually having five seven-footers on its roster.

There was Hassan Whiteside, Zach Collins, Skal Labissiere, Jusuf Nurkic and Pau Gasol. But Gasol never made it to the active roster and retired. Collins was sidelined with shoulder surgery and Nurkic still hasn’t made it back from his broken leg. Labissiere, who wasn’t even expected to play much this season, has become the backup center.

And the Trail Blazers have taken a big step back on the boards and in physicality. Offensive rebounding is critical to this team, because it’s often the only avenue for easy baskets. Portland doesn’t get a lot of fast-break baskets and now, without its big men, isn’t getting to the foul line enough,

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are having to carry a big load.

When Collins went down, Neil Olshey, the team’s president of basketball operations, went out and got Carmelo Anthony – a nice addition. Anthony was a player with a presence and the team didn’t have to give up anything to get him.

The Trail Blazers had championship aspirations this season, but it’s becoming increasingly obvious those dreams won’t be realized this season without the big men.

This franchise would be stupid to sacrifice any of its future to obtain a role player just to attempt to improve its position this season.

With Nurkic, Collins and Hood back in the fold next season, the Trail Blazers would be smart to keep their vision long range – next season should be a nice reset.

In the meantime, there is still a chance that a major trade could be made that would make sense for the future.

Hassan Whiteside’s expiring contract has always been expected to be a trade piece at some point. Names such as LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love have been mentioned and they would be difference-makers. But much more so next year than this, in all likelihood.

In regard to deals, it’s important to remember that NBA free agents cannot be traded for three months after they signed, or until after Dec. 15, whichever is later. And this season’s trade deadline is Feb. 6 and there is often a flurry of activity in the days leading up to the deadline as teams come to the realization that they probably won’t make the playoffs.

But Portland is not in a great space to make a deal with the Whiteside contract. The free-agent crop this summer is a weak one, with many of the top players expected to re-sign with their old teams. That would mean some teams would be reluctant to deal for a player who would provide cap space when there is not much to spend it on.

And there is a perception, too, that the Trail Blazers are desperate and other teams would want to squeeze more out of Portland in any deals.

So this is another situation when patience will be required. If the team doesn’t play any better than it did Sunday night against the Thunder, what would be the use of adding some marginal free agent who is sitting at home on his couch right now?

I would expect Nurkic to be back at some point this season, at least on a limited basis. Collins, I would assume, is more doubtful.

Better to allow the team’s younger players to grab that playing time, getting them ready for a bench role next season.

Free agents? Trades? What should the Trail Blazers do down another man?

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Free agents? Trades? What should the Trail Blazers do down another man?

Leaving the Moda Center on Friday night: The rain falling outside, a crispness in the air, and a ponderance of what the Trail Blazers should do now that Rodney Hood is lost for the season.

To say the injury bug has bitten the Portland Trail Blazers would be an understatement.

Portland was already without Jusuf Nurkic (left lower leg) and Pau Gasol (left ankle) to start the season.

Then, the Blazers lose Zach Collins to shoulder surgery.

Then, Gasol and the Blazers decide it would be better for him to focus on his rehabilitation and not be on the Trail Blazers roster anymore.

Then, Gary Trent, Jr. misses extended time with a right hamstring strain.

Then, Rodney Hood goes down with a torn left Achilles tendon during Friday night's game vs. the Lakers.  

So, here we are, the day after Hood suffers a season-ending injury, trying to figure out what will the Blazers do now.

With Gasol’s decision to no longer be a Trail Blazer, that put the roster at 14-players, meaning there is one open roster spot. 

There are a few names that have been floating around as potential good fits for the Blazers.

-Jamal Crawford

-Corey Brewer

-Kevin Love

Crawford has been in a similar boat as Carmelo Anthony. He has been waiting to see if a team will give him another shot or be forced to retire.  The 39-year-old is currently living in Seattle. For his career, he has averaged 14.6 points, 3.4 assist, and 2.2 rebounds.

Crawford played for the Trail Blazers during the 2011-12 lockout shortened season.

Trail Blazers shooting guard, CJ McCollum already voiced his opinion on Crawford last month saying that the 3-time Sixth Man of the Year should be back on the court.

As for Corey Brewer, he last played for the Kings. He appeared in 24 games for Sacramento last season. 

For his career, Brewer has posted averages of 8.7 points on 42.5 percent shooting to go along with his 2.8 rebounds. He can also defend on the perimeter, which is something that is always valuable.

And then... there's Kevin Love.

Trail Blazers fans have been saying for YEARS that Love should come back home.

According to new reports that surfaced Friday, the Cavaliers are now willing to listen to trade offers for Love.

Love has three years and $90 million left on his contract.

The NBA trade possibilities will expand on December 15th when players who signed free-agent contracts this past offseason are eligible to be traded.

The Trail Blazers have a couple of players on expiring contracts and could potentially look to flip one player's bigger contract into two players, effectively filling that 15th spot. In doing so, they wouldn't take on any new money and wouldn't be adversely affected by a tax hit if they were to add a player right now.

With so many injuries, trading one guy for two could be one of the best options for Portland.

OR maybe the Trail Blazers continue with the personnel that is still healthy, having Kent Bazemore start at small forward with Mario Hezonja and Anthony Tolliver getting more minutes off the bench.

Time will tell, but as always we will keep our finger on the pulse as to what the Trail Blazers decide to do moving forward at the forward/wing position.