The NBA trade deadline is just days away, and several Portland Trail Blazers players have had their names pop up in the rumor mill.

While it's one thing for fans of other teams to look at the Blazers' roster and construct elaborate deals in order to land a player that they would love to see play for their team, it's very much another thing for a deal to shake out that benefits both sides in a trade.

Much has been made of Jerami Grant's supposed availability but, given that he's scoring 20 points per game for the Blazers and not really standing in the way of anyone's developmental minutes, it's likely that Grant sticks around.

That's not the case for Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon. That's why, despite his solid output and positive effect on the locker room, he should be moved at the 2024 NBA trade deadline.

Ultimately, the Blazers need two things this season headed into the summer. They need future draft capital, and they need to open up playing time for young guards Shaedon Sharpe and Scoot Henderson.

It's not known exactly what kind of draft capital Brogdon would bring back in a deal, but it's reasonable to expect a late first-rounder from a contender. Virtually every championship-caliber team could use a guy like Brogdon that can start, come off the bench, has playoff experience, etc. A pick from one of those teams will likely land somewhere in the 20-30 range.

Perhaps more importantly, Brogdon's departure would open up time for Sharpe and Henderson. While the Blazers have been very cautious about throwing Scoot to the Wolves and letting him flounder in extensive minutes, Henderson has clearly taken a step forward over the course of the season. He's shown that he can handle more time, and his growth curve has been so dramatic that it's tantalizing to imagine would Scoot's development would look like with an extra shift per game.

Sharpe is currently dealing with an abdominal/adductor issue that has plagued him off and on for more than a month. But when healthy this season, he showed that he too is ready to make a leap of his own. Sharpe has increased his scoring average from 9.9 points per game in his rookie season, up to 15.9 points per game this season.

Of course, the Blazers also have Anfernee Simons, the 24-year-old combo guard scoring more than 23 points per game in 34 minutes a night. there just aren't enough backcourt minutes to go around for the four players who all deserve court time.

While the Blazers shouldn't feel pressured to make a deal that isn't in their best interest, there's enough smoke surrounding teams like the New York Knicks, Houston Rockets and others being interested in Brogdon that a first-rounder in 2024 or 2025 should be attainable.

In fact, it may benefit the Blazers to receive a pick in the 2025 NBA Draft instead of this summer. Portland already has two first-round picks in a draft that isn't considered to be as deep as normal. Adding a 2025 pick (with all of the usual lottery protections attached) could be a better move for the team.

Brogdon has been very solid for the Blazers. He's embraced a mentorship role and has shot the Blazers into a few wins that they had no business claiming. But with Henderson starting to truly show what he's capable of, and even a play-in spot a fantasy for Portland, the time is now to trade Brogdon to a contending team.