NBA Rumors: Impending Shake-Up In Portland


While all the talk in Portland has centered around Damian Lillard, many NBA insiders are expecting many other changes to take place with the Portland Trail Blazers' roster, whether or not Lillard actually gets dealt.

According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, names like Jusuf Nurkic and Robert Covington, along with CJ McCollum, have entered the fray. 

As for McCollum, the shooting guard is a fine player, but ex-GM Neil Olshey—fired last week—was McCollum's biggest fan, and wouldn't ever consider trading him. Now McCollum's support club has left the building. 

As for Nurkic, although his points, rebounds and shooting percentages are up this year, Fischer reports that the Blazers are "currently said to be down on" both Nurkic and Covington. Nurkic has averaged 14.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in his 6 years in Portland, and would be a nice piece for a contending team short on strength at the center spot. 

Covington, making $13M, on the other hand, is down to a career-low 6.6 points per game. The Blazers acquired him for two 1st-round picks before last season. 

A couple of obvious trade partners that come to mind would be the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers.

Portland and Philly had some early framework of a deal involving Ben Simmons and CJ McCollum before the season, but Olshey was reportedly "happy with his roster as constructed", and never proceeded beyond preliminary discussions (though it's unlikely Sixers GM Daryl Morey would be happy with simply a McCollum return for Simmons).

The Pacers have come forward to put several players on the trade block as they have decided a rebuild is in order. Perhaps the Blazers and Indiana could make for interesting bedfellows right about now. 

Indeed, lots to parse through in Portland. 

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