This is a rare trade involving the Portland Trail Blazers where Damian Lillard will not be involved. This will be one of the top storylines of the NBA offseason but there are still other areas where the Blazers could look to focus on. After another early exit in the postseason, Portland needs to explore all avenues.
The Blazers were knocked out in the first round by the Denver Nuggets this postseason. Portland landed the sixth seed in a difficult Western Conference and this did not put them in a position to be successful. This is now four times in the last five years that the team has been unable to advance.
This is unlikely with a duo like Lillard and CJ McCollum but here we are. Patience could be thin in Portland — both by Lillard and the front office. This means there could be some trades on the horizon for the Blazers to improve.
If all options are being explored, the Orlando Magic could be involved. They have already been a busy team this year. Orlando fell behind in the standings early on and this forced them to sell at the NBA trade deadline.
The Magic sent Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls and Evan Fournier to Boston. Aaron Gordon was part of that Nuggets’ team that eliminated the Trail Blazers in the postseason. Orlando was able to add Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner in the 2021 NBA Draft and could look to rebuild further.
There are still some players that could be sent away in Orlando. Here is a potential deal that could happen between the Magic and Blazers this offseason.
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: F Jonathan Isaac, C Mo Bamba
Orlando Magic Receive: C Jusuf Nurkic, F Nassir Little, F Derrick Jones, 2023 First Round Pick (Top 3 Protected), 2025 First Round Pick Swap
Jonathan Isaac is a name that has been thrown around in NBA trade rumors at times. He entered the league with high expectations but injuries have prevented him from reaching higher levels during his time with the Orlando Magic. The same can be said about Mo Bamba.
Both players could benefit from a change of scenery and that is what would happen here as they are sent to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Magic could benefit from going all-in on recent draft picks Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner.