The Trail Blazers are coming off a disappointing season where they missed the playoffs and wasted another year of Damian Lillard's Prime. With these moves Basketball and I came up with, they can become a legit team in the West.
Trade CJ McCollum for Tyler Herro, Goran Dragic, and a 2025 top five protected first
This is a pretty fair package. McCollum is a star who can help the Heat now. Dragic as a backup PG isn't bad at all. The pick can be valuable if the Heat are more of an underwhelming team in 2025. Herro can be a long-term project who can also come off the bench. Though it will be tough for the Heat to give him up, this is what Pat Riley does and he also had an underwhelming year. Powell becomes the team's starting SG and takes on a new and bigger role.
Trade for a defensive frontcourt Nurkic is an offensive-minded center and the Blazers need more of a defense initiator. Poeltl can give them that. A underrated rim protector and a solid rebounder who can really help the Blazers. This would be fairly cheaper than Myles Turner, and Little will never get playing team with this squad and needs a change of scenery. A second shouldn't harm then. To master their frontcourt, they trade away Anfernee Simons, Covington, and 3 seconds for one of the best defenders in the league in Larry Nance, so may want to compete at this stage of his career. The 3&D forward is really valuable. The Cavs may be intrigued by Simons as a spacer since they may trade one of Garland and Sexton, and adding Covington makes the deal even fairer. They also get some much needed capital for the future.
Then, the Blazers dump Derrick Jones Jr. to the Thunder. His role has really decreased, and with Nance, he'll never get much playing time. They create a valuable trade exception that can be useful if this lineup doesn't work out. For the Thunder, they get a solid role player for free who can really develop if given a larger role.
Sign a Defensive Guard, Retain Kanter, and Melo
With the mid level exception, the Blazers can sign Josh Hart, another defensive guard who can also play SF when needed because of his rebounding. Then, they retain Landed as a backup as he is one of the best rebound ers in the league. Maybe afterwards they can resign Melo, it depends on what they want.
New lineup: Lillard - Herro/Hart - Powell - Nance - Poeltl Backups Dragic - Herro/Hart - Melo and more off the bench