The Portland Trail Blazers have been staying afloat in the Western Conference despite being without CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic for an extended period of time, but now they’re about to benefit from a surge of offense. Portland sent Gary Trent Jr. and Rodney Hood to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Norman Powell, and Nurkic is set to return to action on Friday. The Western Conference is getting stronger, but the Trail Blazers are doing their best to content.
Championship odds: +4500
Odds to win West: +2200
Portland’s title odds moved from +6000 to +4500 following the trade deadline and its Western Conference championship odds improved to +3000 to +2200. Offense has never been the Trail Blazers’ problem with Damian Lillard running the show, but its scoring will be even more potent with Powell on the wing. Powell is averaging more than 25 points per game in March and gives Toronto a quality third option. Having an elite 3-and-D defender in Robert Covington and a capable scorer off the bench in Carmelo Anthony. Losing Trent will hurt Portland’s perimeter defense, but the tradeoff just might be worth it.
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