The Portland Trail Blazers reportedly could be active for several players in the trade market, including Jae Crowder, Mo Bamba and Nerlens Noel, according to Danny Marang during an appearance on KGW Sports.
“Marang said backup bigs on the open market have been linked to Portland, including players like Orlando Magic 7-foot center Mo Bamba and Detroit Pistons 6-11 center Nerlens Noel,” KGW’s staff wrote.
“Phoenix Suns 6-6 forward Jae Crowder is another player, ‘Portland will probably be looking at,’ according to Marang.”
The Blazers appear to want to add more athleticism to their roster, specifically at the center position with Bamba and Noel as targets.
Noel has played in just 13 games for the Pistons this season. With the team way out of the playoff race, Noel has been out of the rotation in favor of younger players like Jalen Duren and Isaiah Stewart.
This season, Noel is averaging 2.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game while shooting 42.9 percent from the field. However, he showed during time with the New York Knicks that he can be a quality option at center, especially on defense.
During the 2020-21 season, Noel averaged 5.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game while shooting 61.4 percent from the field. An injury limited his playing time last season before he was dealt to Detroit in the offseason.
Bamba, a former lottery pick, has played in 40 games for Orlando this season. A solid shot-blocker, Bamba can also stretch the floor from the center position.
He’s averaging 7.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 block per game this season while shooting 39.8 percent from 3-point land. That’s the highest 3-point percentage of Bamba’s young career.
Bamba and Noel both aren’t on long-term deals as well, so it’s not a major financial commitment for the Blazers if they make a deal. Noel has a team option for next season while Bamba’s salary for the 2023-24 campaign is non-guaranteed.
As for Crowder, he has yet to play this season for the Suns as the two sides have looked for a trade. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent this coming offseason, but he may not cost a lot on the trade market since Phoenix is paying him right now to not play.
Crowder played a key role for the Suns in the 2021-22 season. He averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc.
The Blazers appear to be willing to make a small tweak to help improve their roster to make a playoff push in the Western Conference.
Portland is currently the No. 11 seed in the West ahead of Monday night’s action in the NBA.