Wacky NBA Trade Deadline Ideas:
With the NBA trade deadline approaching in a week, the ideas, rumors, and questions start to pour in: Which contenders will be buyers? Which teams will be sellers? Who’s going to start planning for free agency? These are some of the questions that start swirling around social media come this time of year. While the NBA doesn’t usually have the action-packed trade deadline fans wish for, there is always hope. As an ESPN trade machine artist, I have painted some possible, very possible and wacky trade scenarios that NBA fanatics crave to see come February 8th.
Charlotte Hornets receive: Julius Randle, Luol Deng, Emmanuel Mudiay, Juancho Hernangomez, Denver 2018 1st-round pick
Denver Nuggets receive: Kemba Walker, Jeremy Lamb
Los Angeles Lakers receive: Michael Carter-Williams, Johnny O'Bryant III
Chicago Bulls receive: Kenneth Faried, Lakers 2020 1st-round pick
Why Charlotte Does it:
It's officially time in Charlotte, as Kevin O'Connor from The Ringer likes to put it, “to blow it up!”. Charlotte decides to go with the Sean Marks route: trade your valuables to receive young assets and draft picks, and some hefty contracts in the process. Here Charlotte receives another first-round pick, assets in Julius Randle, Juancho Hernangomez, and the Emmanuel Mudiay project.
Why Denver Does it:
This is a no-brainer for Denver, as they get a franchise point guard in Kemba Walker and get to move Jamal Murray over to the two spot. With Kemba working with the likes of Nikola Jokic, up-and-comer Gary Harris, and Paul Millsap, he’ll be in the best spot of his NBA career. Additionally, Jeremy Lamb would give them some bench depth and add shooting to their second unit.
Why Los Angeles Does it:
This is a financial move for the young Lakers. While they’re parting with a future first-round pick, they finally get rid of the abysmal Luol Deng contract. As the Lakers start preparing for the upcoming free agency, this is a move that had to be done.
Why Chicago Does it:
Using the same ideology as the Nikola Mirotic trade that just fell through, Chicago fills their extra roster spot to eat up Kenneth Faried’s contract while also receiving a future first-round pick.
Utah Jazz receive: Iman Shumpert, Sam Dekker, 2021 Cleveland 1st-round pick
Cleveland Cavaliers receive: DeAndre Jordan, Lou Williams, Derrick Favors
Los Angeles Clippers receive: Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, Jonas Jerebko, 2018 Cleveland 1st-round pick via Brooklyn
Why Cleveland Does it:
Keep the pick and hedge your future without Lebron, or go all-in and pray he stays? I believe Cleveland decides to go with option B and dump the expensive contracts of Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, and Iman Shumpert in exchange for DeAndre Jordan, Lou Williams and Derrick Favors. Trading two first-round picks is a big risk, but in order to keep the best player in the world happy, what other choice do they have?
Why Utah Does it:
While Derrick Favors has been productive this season, his expiring contract leaves Utah in a position to move him for a good price. This is the right deal for Utah, where they net a future first-round pick and an asset in Sam Dekker.
Why Los Angeles Does it:
After the departure of Blake Griffin, Jerry West’s agenda seems to be collecting picks and assets while keeping themselves financially eligible for the big names in the upcoming free agency period. Here, the Clips continue that mission where they get Tristan Thompson, JR Smith, and the prized Brooklyn pick.
Why Toronto Does it:
Toronto currently sits in second place in the conference with a legitimate chance at catching Boston at the top of the East. The 2018 version of the Raptors are a more versatile and up-tempo team than from years past. However, they still lack consistent three-point shooting and a go-to bench scorer. Rodney Hood is the perfect fit for what the Raps are missing, and with his expiring contract, he makes it an easy deal for Masai Ujiri to construct.
Why Utah Does it:
Many in Utah believed Rodney Hood would thrive in a larger role following Gordon Hayward’s departure, but due to injuries and the rise of Donovan Mitchell, he has been stuck in a sixth man role. Therefore, the Jazz can move Hood in order to pick up an asset in Pascal Siakam. Siakam has matured nicely in his second season and would get plenty of opportunities to develop even more in Utah.
Why Golden State Does it:
Do the Warriors have any dire need? No, but frontcourt depth is something that would only help, and Kyle O’Quinn is a nice fit. O’Quinn has a fierce motor on both sides of the court, constantly wreaking havoc while also having the ability to knock down a mid-range jumper. He can also help out in Golden State’s various small-ball lineups and defend many positions.
Why New York Does it:
This is a financial move by Knicks president Steve Mills as he begins to prepare for the offseason. He picks up two expiring contracts, including that of Kevon Looney, who still has unknown potential after all his time in Golden State.
Cleveland Cavaliers receive: C.J. McCollum, George Hill, Tyreke Evans, JaMychal Green
Portland Trail Blazers receive: Kevin Love, Garrett Temple, Ben Mclemore, 2018 Cleveland 1st-round pick
Memphis Grizzlies receive: Isaiah Thomas, Ed Davis, Noah Vonleh, Skal Labissiere
Sacramento Kings receive: Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, Brandon Wright
Why Cleveland Does it:
Here is a different route for Cleveland where they don’t have to part with the Brooklyn pick. Instead, the Cavs snag Tyreke Evan’s bargain of a contract and put him and Dwayne Wade in charge of the second unit. Additionally, the Cavs get a good defender and versatile forward in JaMychal Green, who can switch defensively on pick and rolls, and C.J. McCollum and George Hill restart the backcourt that has haunted Cleveland all season. Additionally, McCollum is in a nice contract that will keep him in Cleveland for a couple more seasons, which is something that can potentially lure Lebron to stay this offseason.
Why Portland Does it:
Although McCollum and Lillard are best friends on social media and Portland has been a playoff team all season, this isn’t a roster built to win a championship. Portland gets an All-Star in Kevin Love (an Oregon native) who’ll get more of an opportunity to put up his old Minnesota numbers, and in the process, they'll also acquire a veteran swingman in Garret Temple and another 2018 first-round pick.
Why Memphis Does it:
Assuming Memphis doesn’t get the draft pick they are hoping for in exchange for Tyreke Evans, they’ll turn to this deal in a heartbeat. Memphis gets rid of Ben McLemore, someone they’ve been looking to trade for months, while scooping up a prospect in Skal Labissiere and also add three expiring contracts, one of those being Isaiah Thomas’. Isaiah is a low-risk, high reward player at the moment, and if he can get his groove back towards the end of the season, Memphis controls Isaiah’s Bird Rights this offseason and have the first crack at re-signing him. Possibilities range from bringing him back next season to performing a sign and trade. This is a move a team battling with plantar tankitis should make without hesitation.
Why Sacramento Does it:
This is a financial move for the Kings. They finally get rid of the gargantuan George Hill contract, and that of Garrett Temple’s as well.
Brooklyn Nets receive: Solomon Hill, Omer Asik, Malachi Richardson, New Orleans 2018 1st-round pick
New Orleans Pelicans receive: DeMarre Carroll, Joe Harris, Kosta Koufos
Sacramento Kings receive: Nik Stauskas, Ian Clark
Why Brooklyn Does it:
Sean Marks would never miss an opportunity to make a trade. Here Brooklyn eats up two contracts in order to nab a first round pick in this upcoming draft, one with underrated value if the Pels start sliding down the standings due to the Boogie Cousins injury.
Why New Orleans Does it:
GM Dell Demps has told the media that the Pelicans will be buyers at this year’s deadline. While there are no big names in this deal, DeMarre Carrolls’ defense, Joe Harris’ shooting, and Kosta Koufos big man presence can combine to ease some of the pain that the Boogie injury brought.
Why Sacramento Does it:
Sacramento persists at freeing cap space as they keep taking on more expiring contracts.
Extras to Think About:
What fun would this column be without any Kawhi hypothetical trades?
Here you go…
Boston Celtics receive: Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Anderson, Joffrey Lauvergne, Brandon Paul
San Antonio Spurs receive: Jayson Tatum, Marcus Morris, Terry Rozier, Abdel Nader, Guerschon Yabusele, 2018 Boston 1st-round pick via Lakers 1, 6-30 protected, or 2019 Boston 1st-round pick 2-30 via either Philadelphia or Sacramento
*If you have any disagreements with what I wrote, please fire back at me on twitter @JJ_Zakheim. All criticism is definitely appreciated!Back to the NBA Newsfeed