The apparent deal the Portland Trail Blazers are working out in a three-way transaction that involves the Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Pelicans shows that the Blazers didn’t adequately fulfill their needs for an inside big man in the 2013 NBA Draft.
But it also shows that the Blazers know how to fill their needs via a trade. USA Today Sports is reporting that the Blazers will be getting center Robin Lopez and guard Terrel Harris from the Pelicans, who are acquiring Tyreke Evans from the Kings. Jeff Withey, a center from Kansas that the Blazers used with their second round pick, would be going to the Pelicans as part of the deal.
Lopez is a solid acquisition for the Blazers and gives them more veteran experience inside. The Blazers originally added four draft picks to their roster, but ended the season playing with a good share of rookies and need to get some veteran experience in the lineup to complement veteran LaMarcus Aldridge and Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard.
Meyers Leonard showed promise as a rookie center last year, but he still is extremely young. The Blazers realize they needed some experience help inside and Lopez became available. In his sixth NBA season last year, he averaged 11.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 26 minutes per game. Those numbers are all up significantly from his career figures. The Blazers can use Leonard as a solid backup for Lopez and be able to have better production from the center spot.
Harris only saw 20 games of NBA action last season and may not even make the Blazers’ roster at the end of the preseason. Lopez is a obviously the key figure in this trade for the Blazers.