A six-game winning streak before the All-Star break may have changed the Portland Trail Blazers from sellers to buyers before Thursday’s trade deadline.
Several league sources say that Portland has changed its mind about trading most of, if not all, of its veteran big men for youth before the deadline. The Blazers had informed teams around the league that they would likely be tearing down their roster after hearing the severity of guard Brandon Roy’s knee maladies, and after losing center Greg Oden for yet another season due to a knee injury.
Teams believed the Blazers would definitely trade point guard Andre Miller before the deadline, and perhaps move both Marcus Camby and Joel Przybilla as well.
But the inspired play of forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who took on a bigger scoring burden with Roy out, and the team’s rally before the break have the Blazers now thinking they could not only maintain their fifth-place standing in the Western Conference, but perhaps get a spot higher with a couple of targeted trades. Portland is looking for a backup point guard and a scoring big man to play in the rotation behind Aldridge–and perhaps alongside Aldridge when he plays center. That would likely explain Portland’s interest in Charlotte forward Gerald Wallace, as reported by multiple outlets Wednesday. But getting Wallace, who makes $9.5 million this season in Charlotte, would have to include at least one of Portland’s veterans to make the deal work–though the Blazers do have Oden’s $6.7 million salary as a potential chip to use.