The Portland Trail Blazers are an up-and-coming team who just proved their current roster isn’t a title contender. Time to add some free agents, right? Great plan, but the Blazers have one of the ugliest cap sheets in the league. In addition to big deals for Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the Blazers also have Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard, Maurice Harkless, and Evan Turner all locked up on long term contracts, each for over $10 million per season. The Kings, meanwhile, enter the offseason with significant cap space and the ability to absorb an overpaid player.
And did I mention the Blazers own the 15th, 20th, and 26th picks in the 2017 NBA Draft?
A few Kings fans have already been discussing this in the comments, so let’s bring it front and center and dissect our options. We can rule Crabbe out right away. He’s the worst contract of the bunch, and the Kings already have too many shooting guards on the roster. And I’d rather not have Evan Turner, simply because he’ll be 29 next season and has another 3 years under contract at $17.1, $17.8, and $18.6 million. Yikes.
But when I look at Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard, I see two useful, young NBA players on long-term contracts that are a little above their market value. Harkless will be 24 next season, Leonard will be 25.
I’m no trade maestro, I’ll leave that to you in the comments. But it seems like a situation where the teams could help each other out. The Kings could absorb a player into cap space. The Blazers could take, say, Arron Afflalo and then buy him out for cheap. The Kings could maybe get the 26th pick in the deal for the trouble. Maybe the Kings send back Philly’s second rounder? I don’t know, I’m just spitballing here.
But what do you think? Should the Kings be picking up the phone and calling our rivals up I-5?