Houston Rockets 3 3-team trades #2: Portland Trail Blazers and Toronto Raptors retool
This trade nets the Rockets Damian Lillard and Pascal Siakam to give the roster a much-needed boost on both offense and defense. These two are perfect compliments to each other, as Siakam needs someone to make offense easier for him to be his best, and Lillard needs stout perimeter defenders to cover for his deficiencies on that end.
The Rockets, with Lillard, Siakam, Christian Wood, and Jae'Sean Tate would have the offensive and defensive balance needed to compete for a championship. With that core in place, the Rockets' offseason becomes simple, find some shooting and find some size because everything in between is covered.
The Toronto Raptors were a model of consistency until the Coronavirus pandemic forced them to play their home games over 1,300 miles away in Tampa Bay. Last year was the first time the franchise failed to make the playoffs since 2013 and the first time they failed to win 50 games since 2016.
Fortunately, their suffering was rewarded with the fourth pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, but the franchise shouldn't stop there. With Kyle Lowry likely to leave the Raptors could use another shot creator and CJ McCollum would fit perfectly.
Is Siakam better than McCollum? or is it the other way around? The reality is that McCollum is probably a better fit in Toronto with the emergence of OG Anunoby and Nick Nurse's defensive wizardry.
The Trail Blazers have to bite the bullet and commit to a full-on teardown but their reward is tremendous. They land six first-round picks, including the second pick in this draft and they get the chance to clear out a ton of future cap space.
John Wall and Eric Gordon are expensive but they'll only be under contract for two more seasons. Lillard is under contract until 2024-25 when he'll be 34 and making $54.2 million, if you can't win a championship right now then he's a player you want to move off of. McCollum is signed through 2023-24 and will make at least $30 million over the next two seasons.
The Trail Blazers really should blow it up right now. They can't win a championship. They can't make any major upgrades. They're just staring at a stagnant roster that's on the precipice of becoming old and expensive.