On this week's episode of the 3-on-3 Blazers podcast, we talk about the win against the Houston Rockets and the upcoming NBA trade deadline. We also answer your questions and play a rousing game of Rip It!
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With three weeks to the deadline, the NBA trade rumor machine is whirring quietly, but there have been a couple reports about the Blazers in the past week. The Athletic's Sam Amick reported that sources close to the Blazers are downplaying Kevin Love as a viable trade option for Portland, and ESPN's Brian Windhorst said the message he's hearing that the Blazers are putting out there is they might "stand pat" at the deadline. Is this really going to be a quiet trade deadline for the Blazers?
Orlando: It would be a shame if this turns into a quiet trade deadline, but I still believe it won't be. The deadline is still a few weeks away and things haven't really even started happening league wide yet. Even though NBA insiders are saying this, we all know how the Blazers operate and not much gets out with them, especially when they are actively pursuing a deal or player. There's way too much time to accept the possibility nothing will happen by Feb. 6.
Jared: With those two reports, there are a couple things that could be happening. First, Amick and Windhorst are good reporters so let’s assume their sources are sound. The first potential scenario is that the reports are true. Maybe the Blazers don't want to trade for Kevin Love. Maybe they plan to sit out trade season. Maybe ownership values the expiration of Hassan Whiteside and Kent Bazemore’s large contracts more than any potential return. Maybe the market is sluggish. Maybe Whiteside and Bazemore don’t have a lot of trade value. The second potential scenario is that the Blazers don’t have a lot of leverage and Olshey is trying to generate some ahead of the deadline. Every executive knows the Blazers’ most available trade pieces are the expiring contracts of Whiteside and Bazemore. Other front offices may be trying to use that knowledge as leverage against the Blazers in trade conversations. Putting out a message that Portland is unengaged could prompt front offices to improve their trade offers to the Blazers as we get closer to the deadline. I don’t know which scenario is more likely, mainly because I don’t know what ownership goals are right now. If ownership wants to save money, all bets are off. If that’s not a priority for ownership right now, then I expect Neil Olshey will do everything he can to try to make trades that improve this team.