I know we’re mostly thinking about the Super Bowl right now, but after that, the NBA Trade Deadline is the next big event to look forward to. As of now, let’s be real, the Warriors are winning the title… MAYBE the Spurs, but probably the Warriors. Sorry Thunder fans. Sorry Cavs fans. Sorry Clippers fans. You don’t stand a chance unless the Splash bros get hurt. This just goes to show how difficult it is to built a true contender. There are so few transcendent players in this league, and there are so many great players getting paid as such. To win a title, you need to take some risks. You also need to accept when you’re in limbo (see the Hawks and Grizzlies), build a foundation, and start from the ground up. You’ll be mocked (look at the Sixers), but the Warriors weren’t built overnight. Anyways, here’s some trades that make sense for both sides; near contenders adding the right pieces to attempt to compete with Golden State these next few years, and limbo teams getting max value for their “franchise players” who aren’t quite that, as they begin to start over. For the record, I’m aware these trades won’t happen; whether it’s the cap situation or the loyalty to the players. But we can have fun right?
Trade #1 – Cavaliers Make a Splash
Grizzlies Receive – Kyrie Irving
Cavaliers Receive – Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Tony Allen
Sorry Grizzlies, it’s time to blow it up. And sorry Cavs, you lack the depth to compete with the Warriors. So why not help each other out? The Cavs get two fringe all stars, who would benefit GREATLY from Lebron’s presence, as well as a defensive specialist in Allen, and the Grizzlies get a budding young star who can finally be the number one option. Trade away some other pieces, gain some more assets, and build for the future around Irving. The Grizzlies benefit in the long run, but the Cavs get an opportunity to make this season interesting.
Trade #2 – Megatrade in Milwaukee
Bucks Receive: Blake Griffin, Lance Stephenson, Pablo Prigioni
Clippers Receive: Jabari Parker, Greivis Vasquez, OJ Mayo, Bucks 2016 1st Round Pick
The Bucks now have their young building blocks in guys like the Greek Freak and Khris Middleton. They also have some quality veterans, including Greg Monroe. Why not top it off with a bonafide star? For the record, I like this regardless of that broken hand incident. Chris Paul is the anchor in LA, not Blake. Trade him, acquire multiple win now players AND future assets. Meanwhile, the Bucks can begin to really build around the front-court of Antetokounmpo, Griffin and Monroe.
Trade #3 – Boogie to Boston
Celtics Receive: Demarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore
Kings Receive: Nets 1st Round Pick (Via Boston), Mavericks 1st Round Pick (Via Boston), Jared Sullinger
The Celtics get their big man… And with Brad Stevens, Cousins could become a whole new animal. The Kings get a TON to build around between the Mavericks pick and that Nets pick, which could become the #1 overall pick, and they rid themselves of Rudy’s contract. Now all they have to do is trade… the team to a competent owner.
Trade #4 – The Sixers get their Star
Sixers Receive: Paul George
Pacers Receive: Jahlil Okafor, Sixers 1st Round Pick, Lakers 1st Round Pick, Jerami Grant, Additional 2nd Rounders
For the record, as a Sixers fan, I personally hate this trade because I’m all about home grown talent. However, in the eyes of the general media, whether it’s national or Philly, they need to “turn those assets into a star”. Well, here you go. Even with George for the final 30 games, it’s unlikely that the Sixers pick falls out of the top 5, and they also get the Lakers pick. The Pacers also get one of the best young big men in the game. This provides them with a brand new start. Again, they’re trapped in limbo. If they do this, they should continue to tear it down and start from scratch. Meanwhile, the Sixers still have the Heat and Thunder picks to look forward to, as well as Embiid and Saric next season.
Trade #5 – The Timberwolves Big 3 Is Completed
Timberwolves Receive: Damian Lillard
Trail Blazers Receive: Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Zach Lavine, Timberwolves 1st Round Picks (2016,2018)
The Trail Blazers are trapped in an awful place… They have a depleted roster, but Lillard is so good that they won’t be bad enough to straight up tank. Well, this can help that in two ways. They acquire a ton of pieces that they can then continue to swap for smaller assets (2nd rounders, late 1sts, young pieces, etc.), and they get another 1st round pick from Minnesota. 2 potential top 10 picks, a few other assets, AND a high-potential player in Lavine? I’d say that’s the beginning of a new era in Portland. The Wolves have their main building blocks, with Lillard, all they’d need to do is develop and add consistent role players.
Trade #6 – The Spurs Make a Trade?
Spurs Receive: Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic
Magic Receive: Lamarcus Aldridge
Wait? What? The Spurs trade their brand new toy in Aldridge? Yes, they should. He just doesn’t fit that system… You know who would fit that system? These two guys. Tough defenders, team players, guys who do their job. Can you imagine a Duncan and Vucevic front court? Coached by Pop? I’ll take that over Duncan and Aldridge any day of the week… It just works better. Meanwhile, the Magic get a stretch 4, which they definitely need, seeing as their point guard can’t really shoot.
Trade #7 – From New York to LA
Lakers Receive: Carmelo Anthony
Knicks Receive: D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson
Let’s face it, the Lakers don’t have time to wait for their young players to develop. They have the goodwill to just go out and sign guys. They might just be able to get Durant and Westbrook to agree to go over together. So why not entice some free agents with a player who is widely seen as a star? I personally think Melo is an overpaid, overrated bum, but the players don’t seem to think that. Meanwhile, the Knicks, who are already too good to get a super high draft pick, get some other young pieces to build around, along with Kristaps? Win-win.
Trade #8 – Denver Nuggets Fire Sale
Nuggets Receive: Tons of Assets
Raptors Receive: Jameer Nelson and Kenneth Faried
Mavericks Receive: Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari
Now do these teams actually have the assets? Are these THE trades? No. I just like those fits. I think Kenneth’s toughness and Nelson’s experience could help the Raptors get over the hump maybe. I think the Mavs are too good to rebuild just yet, and that those guys could help improve them. I DO know that the Nuggets need to rid themselves of these guys. It’s time to start fresh. They have some nice pieces between Mudiay, Nurkic, and Harris. So get what you can. I’m sure they can add some young players or draft picks with these guys, which leads to another team that needs to have a fire sale…
Trade #9 – New Orleans Pelicans Fire Sale
Pelicans Receive: Tons of Assets
Bulls Receive: Tyreke Evans
Bucks Receive: Jrue Holiday
Cavaliers Receive: Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson
Again, do these teams actually have perfect deals in place? No, I’m not sure. I do know that if the Cavs pulled off both of these trades, they might be able to win the title. I do know that Jrue would be a great young point in Milwaukee along with that young core. I do know that Tyreke could be the pure scorer that the Bulls need. And I do know that the Pelicans need to help out Anthony Davis, and that the pieces they have just don’t work, because of the depth that they lack. So get rid of these contracts, get some picks, and begin to REALLY build around the future MVP in Davis.
Trade #10 – The Inevitable Kevin Durant Trade
Heat Receive: Kevin Durant
Thunder Receive: Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Hassan Whiteside
Here it is, you knew it was coming. But you didn’t expect this huh? Hear me out, this is ALL assuming that Durant is out next year. The Heat get a chance to court Durant, the Thunder get former NBA champions who still have some talent in them, as well as one of the most dominant young centers in the league. Think of that starting lineup? Westbrook, Wade, ANYONE, Ibaka, Whiteside, with Kanter and Bosh coming off of the bench? Westbrook is good enough to make these other guys even better. Do the Thunder want to lose to the Warriors and then lose Durant without getting anything in return? Cool, stick with what you’re doing. Do they want to get some value for Durant while also getting two battle tested veterans and a potential future star to pair up with Westbrook and Ibaka? Yes? Do this trade.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave your own wild trades in the comment section. Remember, this is all just fun. As we get closer, we might hit you with some actual, realistic trade scenarios.
Cover Photo Credit – http://ink361.com/app/users/ig-1320490868/cv.swaps/photos
Paul George Photo Credit – http://www.phillyfanlife.com/?p=1620
Carmelo Anthony Photo Credit – http://www.hiphop1.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Carmelo-Anthony-Lakers.jpg