The first “big” trade of the offseason has taken place, with the Portland Trailblazers and Charlotte Hornets making a deal centered on small forward Nicolas Batum just a day before the NBA Draft. From Adrian Wojnarowski:
This is an interesting move for the Blazers, and could mean a few things for the Dallas Mavericks.
The big one here is that Portland dealt Batum, a solid perimeter defender, capable shooter, and member of the team’s core since joining the team seven years ago. Why do it – especially for what they got in return – unless there’s a strong feeling within the organization that LaMarcus Aldridge is gone and they’re blowing up the team? I can’t think of a single reason other than that because the trade does NOT make the Blazers better.
I’d say this is probably going over pretty well with the Mavericks, who have made it clear they would welcome Aldridge back to his hometown.
But Aldridge isn’t the only Blazer the Mavericks have their eyes on. Wesley Matthews fits the 3-and-D mold the Mavericks reportedly covet, and in a pinch would probably have interest in his backup, Arron Afflalo. The fact that Gerald Henderson was included in the deal only days after opting in to his deal for 2015-16 could mean that the Blazers expect at least one of them to play elsewhere next year.
Matthews is seeking a big raise, and it’s unclear what the Mavericks would be willing to pay for his services, but again, this trade could bode well for Dallas in their pursuit of the one they call “Iron Man”.
The free agency period starts in less than a week, so we’re bound to find out more regarding the Blazers’ free agents soon. Stay tuned for what should a whirlwind of an offseason for the Mavericks!
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