With the New Year ringing in, and the trade deadline approaching, GMs will be on the phones looking to wheel and deal, as some teams prepare for their playoff pushes, while others gear up for rebuilds and gathering assets. Let’s take a look at some trade ideas
PHI 76ers get: Anthony Davis
Why 76ers say yes: The 76ers accelerate the process, and pair arguably the top two-way bigs in the association with Anthony Davis and Joel Embiid. The cost for Davis will be hefty, but he’s arguably a top-5 player, and would create quite the mismatch while he, Embiid, Robert Covington and BenSimmons share the floor. But the 76ers have shown they are willing to attack assets for a player they fell in love (Fultz), and could do so again for Davis. The deal would push the 76ers playoff effort to overdrive, with the real sight locked in for 2019, when LeBron potentially leaves the East, and the Conference is up for grabs. Just imagine a lineup of Simmons running the point, Reddick knocking down threes, Covington and his 3-and-D potential, while Davis and Embiid manning the middle. That’s a team no one would want to face in the playoffs.
NO Pelicans get: Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, Richaun Holmes, Furkan Kormaz, 2019- 1st round pick (Top 3 Protected)
Why Pelicans say yes: Although it is believed that the team receiving the best player, wins the trade; The Pelicans should jump at the opportunity to receive this crop of prospects and draft picks for their star big man. The Pelicans are good, but do they have enough to the Rockets? What about the Warriors? Or even the Thunder? The Pelicans will have a hard time navigating throughout the playoffs against these teams, so why not trade Davis now and get the most for him, while they still having substantial leverage. They don’t need to trade him, but with the 76ers offering former No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz, who posted 23.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 5.9 APG, Dario Saric who was in the running for ROY last season, Richaun Holmes, who’s just 24 years old and shooting 62.2% from the field in his limited play, and Furkan Kormaz, another former first round pick, who’s just 20 years old. Lastly, the Pelicans get a 2019 Top-3 Protected first round pick, another asset they could pair with their new young core of Fultz, Saric, Holmes, along with DeMarcus Cousins if he resigns and Jrue Holdiay.
CLE Cavaliers get: Nicolas Batum, Michael Carter-Williams
Why Cavaliers say yes: In Batum, the Cave get a reliable 3-and-D player, who has been coming on more of late since returning from a torn ligament in his left elbow. Over his last five games, Batum has averaged 12.8 PPG, 5.0 APG and 4.2 RPG on 44.8% and 31.8% from beyond the arc, along with a 21 point showing, and hitting three 3’s on Jan. 2nd against the Kings. Adding Batum, alongside Jae Crowder and LeBron James would create quite the defensive terror for opposing offenses. With Michael Carter-Williams, the Cavs snag the 2013-14 ROY on a b adding another playmaker
CHA Hornets get: Iman Shumpert, Cedi Osman, Channing Frye, Cavs-2018 1st rounder
Why Hornets say yes: The Hornets are stuck in no man’s land, where they’re not good enough to contend, but not bad enough to lose more games, and increase their odds in the lottery. Along with little assets to trade for another star alongside Kemba Walker, why not rid themselves of Batum’s contract which will only look worse as he continues to age. Attaching Carter-Williams in the deal doesn’t hurt, as he’s struggled to find his groove in Charlotte, as well as the emergence of Jeremy Lamb makes his loss easier to let go. The Hornets also receive prospect Cedi Osman, who’s just 22 years old and has shot 38.1% from three in his limited play, along with the Cavaliers 2018 first round pick for taking on Shumpert’s and Frye’s (expiring) deal.
DEN Nuggets get: Kemba Walker, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Why the Nuggets say yes: The Nuggets have been seeking for a star point guard as they’ve been linked Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic in the past but have been hesitant to pull the trigger. But the Hornets are 14-23 and could be looking to sell off some their pieces, including All-Star Kemba Walker. But with the Nuggets thin with wing depth, why not go for it all and try to also pry Michael Kidd-Gilchrist away from the Hornets. Kidd-Gilchrist is a big defensive wing, and would become arguably the team’s best defender. Losing Mudiay and Murray hurts, but the Nuggets are stacked with 2-guards and can use their depth to fill other needs such as the star point guard they’ve been searching for and a defensive-stopping wing.
CHA Hornets get: Emmanuel Mudiay, Jamal Murray, Juan Hernangomez, Kenneth Faried, 2019 1st round (lottery protected)
Why the Hornets say yes: The Hornets are on the outside looking in, sitting at 14-23 and 12th in the Eastern Conference, behind the Brooklyn Nets, with no indication that they’ll move the needle and improve. Therefore why not call the point guard-starved Nuggets, who have interesting prospects and picks to offer? The Nuggets could be interested in a number of guys, but Emmanuel Mudiay, who was once viewed to take the league by storm if his shot clicked, and Jamal Murray who’s averaging 15.7 PPG would be the perfect prospect coup for the Hornets to start their rebuild. They get a new lead guard, who could use a change of scenery, and a scoring guard who can light up the scoreboard in ways that they thought Malik Monk would. The Hornets also take back Kenneth Faried’s who’s contract becomes less of a burden with the Nuggets inclusion of Juan Hernanagomez and a lottery protected 2019 first rounder to add their asset treasure chest, and gathering a new young core to rebuild around.
LAC Clippers get: Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris, Thomas Satoransky, Kelly Oubre, 2018 1st Rd. Pick (Lottery Protected)
Why Clippers say yes: The Clippers are to be looking for young assets and picks for Jordan, but it’s been a stale front as no one has been budging for a one year rental of Jordan. But what if the Clippers package Lou Williams, and convince the Wizards that they’re only a few pieces away from dethroning the Cavaliers? With the Wizards going for it all, they include Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris to help offset the salaries, and veterans who can still help the Clippers on the short tern. But big get for the Clippers will be the 22 year-old Kelly Oubre, who has seen positive strides this season, and is averaging 11.6 PPG and 5.0 RPG. As well as the Wizards 2018 first rounder in a stacked draft, after the Clippers inexplicably used one of their draft picks to acquire the oft-injured Danilo Gallinari. And with the Clippers alway in seek for wing help, they also snag Thomas Satoransky, a 26 year old who’s still young, and can use a change of scenery in Los Angeles.
WSH Wizards get: DeAndre Jordan, Lou Williams, Sam Dekker
Why Wizards say yes: The Wizards are a top Eastern Conference team, but does anyone believe they can beat the Cavaliers, or even the Celtics in a 7-game series? Probably not, John Wall’s a stud, Bradley Beal has shown when healthy, he’s a top SG in the league. But the bench is still an issue, and DeAndre Jordan would be an upgrade both on the offensive and defensive end and substantially on the rebound side as Jordan is averaging 15.1 RPG compared to Marcin Gortat’s respectable 8.6 RPG. But imagine John Wall’s speed running down the court, with the athletic Jordan trailing ready for the lob and we can be looking at “Lob City Lite” in Washington. Getting the Clippers to attach Lou Williams will be a big get for the Wizards, as he’ll be an upgrade and a spark plug off the bench, as he’s averaging a career high 21.7 PPG, while shooting 40.6% from beyond the arc, and brings another scoring punch for the Wizards. Lastly, the Wizards acquire Sam Dekker, a lower-profiled prospect who could find minutes after shipping away Oubre and Satoransky.
LA Lakers get: Justice Winslow
Why Lakers say yes: Will the Lakers trade Julius Randle? Will the Lakers resign him? Or will they let him walk for nothing? After using a lottery pick on him in the 2014 draft? In this scenario, the Lakers ship the former Kentucky Wildcat to Miami, and get back a young controllable wing to help on the defensive end, where they have struggled mightily. Winslow has struggled on the offensive end, but with Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma and Lonzo Ball running the show, Winslow will have little pressure to score and will have better open looks playing alongside Ball. Winslow is young enough to fit the young core in Los Angeles, and is still on his rookie scale where his salary wouldn’t effect the offseason plans.
MIA Heat get: Julius Randle
Why Heat say yes: The Heat always seem to be buyers around this time, and being thick in the playoff race at 20-17, they’ll be looking to improve the team once again before the trade deadline approaches. But with no first rounders to offer until 2020, and little assets outside of Bam Adebayo (6.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG) and Justice Winslow (6.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG), then Pat Riley will have no option but to use one in trade talks. Adebayo who was used with the 14th pick in this past draft seems unlikely, but Winslow who his two years removed from being selected tenth overall, and has yet to live up to his potential. So why not flip him for another young asset in Julius Randle (23), who’s put up 13.1 PPG, while grabbing 6.7 RPG in just 22.6 minutes of work. The Heat have just James Johnson, Udonis Haslem, and occasionally Kelly Olynyk at the 4, and could use the depth and tenacity that Randle brings. As well as able to match any offer that Randle receives, and can retain him if he plays to their liking.