It’s no big secret that at this point, Portland is looking to shed some cap for the coming years. They have two players making over $20 million a year, two making over $10 million, and another two making more than $7. Plus, Jusuf Nurkic is a restricted free agent this summer, and could see a pretty decent contract thrown at him by somebody. Of those 7 players, only 2 can be considered core pieces of the team, in Lillard and McCollum.
Portland needs to lose a lot of contracts this off-season if they want to even think about competing in the near future. This trade allows them to do that, not this summer, but next. They give up the 24th pick, but they shed Evan Turner’s $17 million a year for the next several years. In return, they still get the 31st pick, and they get a veteran on an expiring deal in Chandler.