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A darkhorse candidate to be active in terms of being a seller at the trade deadline is the Portland Trail Blazers.
According to Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, Portland could go several directions in moving some of its pieces before the deadline.
“The Blazers have shopped their bad contracts — Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard are there for the taking,” he reports. “But would Portland break up its star backcourt?”
Money, as usual, will play a big part in what direction Portland decides to take, Mannix said.
“The Blazers have serious cap issues, and the underwhelming play of Jusuf Nurkic has made the magic the team discovered at the end of last season elusive,” he said. “Damian Lillard isn’t going anywhere, and there doesn’t seem to be an offer for C.J. McCollum that makes sense — yet.
“Portland has cooled on the pursuit of (the Clippers’ DeAndre) Jordan in recent days, but there is a sense that the Blazers could re-engage there before the deadline.”
Meanwhile, the Oregonian examined if the Blazers can really expect to keep both Lillard and MCollum for the long haul.
“Pick one. Get busy using the other as an asset to build a contender,” John Canzano wrote. “Because waiting for a lucky draft or a surprise in free agency or for a pile of bad contract to expire isn’t a plan.
“The Blazers have all the assets they need to redirect the organization’s trajectory in a meaningful path. But it’s going to take guts to give up a valuable asset, and smarts to get something in return that recalibrates the organization’s outlook.