The Portland Trail Blazers will play the second of back-to-back games Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz at the Moda Center. The Blazers on Monday night lost 102-97 to the LA Clippers in Seattle, Washington. An aspect that stood out from that game was the job Blazers guard Anfernee Simons did on defense inside against Clippers forward Kawahi Leonard early in the game.
They had explored ways of landing Nets star Kyrie Irving during the offseason, discussed concepts with the Jazz around Bojan Bogdanovic prior to him being traded to the Pistons for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee and even tried to land former Laker Jordan Clarkson from the Jazz before it was made clear that Utah owner Ryan Smith had no intentions of letting him go. Clarkson still has two years left in his contract where he's owed $27 million.
There had been rumors about Cleveland and Utah discussing a deal centered around All-Star, but no more than that. But looking back at these teams' trade history with one another, it's not too surprising that they were able to work something out. It all goes back to the era and the 2018 trade deadline when Cleveland flipped half of their roster in one afternoon.