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Grading Clippers-Trail Blazers deal centered around Norman Powell, Eric Bledsoe

The Clippers and Trail Blazers get trade season started with a major deal.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers
Norman Powell of the Portland Trail Blazers dribbles the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 2, 2022 at Arena in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers struck the first deal of the 2021-22 NBA trade deadline season, when the Clippers reportedly sent Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson and a future second-round pick to the Trail Blazers for Norman Powell and Robert Covington. Here’s a look at how both teams fared with this deal.

Clippers: A

It’s very hard to get impact players without sacrificing major assets. The Clippers are already all-in with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, so Keon Johnson doesn’t do much for them as a developing prospect. Bledsoe is a veteran guard but has been known to struggle in the playoffs. Justise Winslow becomes an excess wing for them in this deal. Powell and Covington are both capable two-way players who can fit in this rotation nicely. They’ll be vital in big games, which the Clippers anticipate playing in when Leonard and George are healthy.

Trail Blazers: C+

This isn’t a terrible deal for the Trail Blazers, but it’s certainly not a good one. The future second-round pick is worth almost nothing at this point, and Johnson is a decent prospect who will need playing time. Portland does get rid of some long-term salary in Powell’s deal but this likely signals the Blazers are ready to rebuild in earnest. If this is the only deal, the current grade is adequate. If Portland starts dealing other key players and acquiring future pieces, this grade could improve knowing it was part of a larger plan to reset the franchise.