NBA Rumors: Trail Blazers Make At Least 2 Players Available On Trade Market

The Western Conference is so bunched up in the middle, that the Portland Trail Blazers, though sitting in 12th at 23-25, are just two games back of a true playoff spot in 6th. And with the way Damian Lillard is playing, they want to do all they can to put a contending team around him. 

Portland has given rival teams the impression that it is open to discussing the majority of its players, particularly Josh Hart and Jusuf Nurkic, sources said, as the franchise remains committed to building a playoff contender around Lillard.

                                                                    —Jake Fischer, Yahoo Sports 

Portland is looking for size, athleticism and strong 3-and-D wings to help build around Dame. 

This is Nurkic's 7th season in The City of Roses, and he's averaged 14.5 points and 9.9 rebounds over that time, numbers he's replicating this season as well. This past summer, he signed a four-year, $70M extension with the Blazers. But he doesn't exactly fit the "athleticism" criteria the Blazers are wanted to add. 

Hart, 27, is likely to decline a $12.9M player option for next season and become a free agent. He's apparently a "very hot" name on the trade circuit, as we described here. ESPN's Zach Lowe has mentioned the Miami Heat as a team that would be very interested in acquiring Hart. 

Portland wants to build around Lillard, and Jerami Grant, who will also become a free agent, and has thus far declined the maximum extension allowable at this point, in-season. He'll be eligible for a much bigger raise in the summer as a free agent.

Photo: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports