Sabonis is believed to be one of the players placed on the market by Indiana, which reportedly is leaning toward at least a mid-level rebuild.
Opposing executives believe either Sabonis or center Myles Turner will be traded ahead of the February 10 deadline, with whichever bringing the better return being the odd man out, Fischer wrote. The Pacers reportedly are also taking trade calls on shooting guard Caris LeVert.
“Despite ongoing questions of their positional fit, Indiana has always valued Turner quite highly on the trade market, rebuffing overtures from Charlotte and even turning down the Pelicans’ No. 4 pick in the 2019 draft that became De’Andre Hunter,” Fischer wrote.
As for the Blazers, there’s no question interim GM Joe Cronin is scanning the market. He admitted as much upon taking over basketball operations for the fired Neil Olshey.
The good news for Cronin is he appears to have the blessings of Blazers chairwoman Jody Allen and vice chairman Bert Kolde to make changes to the roster.
“The way I’ve kind of approached this is, I’m going to get the deal to the 1-yard line, and then I’m going to take it to Jody and Bert, and then they make the final call,” Cronin told reporters. “They’ll have our recommendations as to what to do.
“So, it’s pretty standard that way in the regard of there is a clearinghouse you have to go through. But my understanding is yes, go out, do your job, find deals, participate as if you are the GM.”
The Blazers have also been linked to available Pistons forward Jerami Grant, not to mention 76ers star Ben Simmons. “The Trail Blazers have Jusuf Nurkic and Robert Covington available,” Fischer noted.