Building the three-team blockbuster trade
The New Orleans Pelicans will certainly call the Charlotte Hornets up, but let’s assume here that the asking price is too high – it probably will be. The Portland Trail Blazers are more likely to be open to a deal, but they might not be interested in a package from the Pelicans that doesn’t include Brandon Ingram. The Cavaliers, however, just might be:
For Portland, they get an All-Defense center to completely revolutionize their back line, and one of the best young perimeter defenders in the league. Add in Jerami Grant, and the Blazers are able to survive putting Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons in the backcourt. Toss in a future first, and the Blazers are able to address needs and get a former All-Star for their pick. It’s not a true co-star for Dame, but between Simons and Grant they may be able to build that production in-house.
For the Pelicans, they get the No. 3 pick, which reportedly is a good spot to take Scoot Henderson as the Hornets continue to lean towards Brandon Miller. They get back a starting center back in this game of musical bigs, plus a young prospect in Jabari Walker who could help to replace a little of what Herb Jones provided.
They do give up a lot, though: Herb Jones, Trey Murphy III, Jonas Valanciunas and the No. 14 pick. Is it too much? Perhaps, but they’re trying to get into the top-3 of what many consider a three-player draft. In the end, their desperation might be enough to make this happen, and it allows them to keep both Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. They’ll move forward with a core of Scoot Henderson, CJ McCollum, Dyson Daniels, Ingram, Zion and Jusuf Nurkic as a stopgap at center. That’s a talented group.