The Portland Trail Blazers are currently 12-20 and sit at the bottom of the Northwest division. It is still too early to give up on the season but it seems very unlikely that they will make the playoffs in a tough Western Conference.
So, why not trade a few players away to build for the future? (This is purely speculation and it is not certain that it will actually happen.)
Leonard had high-praise going into the season after joining the 50-40-90 club last year. He shot 51% from the field, 42% from behind the arc, and 93.8% from the free throw line. This is a rare feat, especially for a big man. The only problem with him going into the 2015-2016 season was he had a smaller role the previous year and was not sure how it would translate with a bigger one. Thus far he has shown he is a supremely talented big man with a large offensive skill set, but has been widely inconsistent this year and has lost the starting job to Noah Vonleh and Mason Plumlee.
Having said that, Leonard may still be a great bench piece for a contending team. He may actually play better with a more limited role and in a location where he will not be asked to do too much.
Henderson, who was acquired from the Charlotte Bobcats during the offseason, may be another trade candidate. He was suppose to compete for the starting role but lost out to C.J. McCollum who is having a brilliant year so far. Henderson is now third on the depth chart behind McCollum and Allen Crabbe.
Despite falling short of expectations, Henderson has still made the most of his minutes. He has averaged seven points and 2.4 rebounds per game on 16 minutes of play. He has also recorded back to back double digit scoring games, which should catch some eyes around the league.
Like Leonard, he would make a great player off the bench on a contending team or a solid spot starter. Unlike Leonard, Henderson should be able to take on a larger role.
The other incentive for trading these two players are that they will become free agents at the conclusion of the season and are no guarantee to stay with the team.
So, if you can get something out of them, why not?
If they play well, maybe the Blazers will be enticed to bring them back next season.
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