Five Game-Changing NBA Trade Ideas
Dallas’s first round pick Boston owns
Boston’s 1st round pick
Boston's 2nd round pick or future pick
If Houston decides to get rid of Dwight Howard and give up on the season, this could be a way to get some assets and free up cap space. Let’s face it, even if Houston makes the playoffs, they will be knocked out in the first round, and clearly the Howard-Harden dynamic isn’t working out. As well, Howard will almost certainly walk away this summer. This deal gives the Rockets some picks and expiring contracts so they can chase top free agents like Kevin Durant next summer.
It has been reported that Miami is getting fed up with their talented young center, and Howard has been linked to Miami. This deal would allow Miami to free up the salary space to get Howard, and despite his issues he is a more mature playoff tested version of Whiteside. He won’t be exactly as effective as Whiteside, but the productivity won’t drop off that much and it seems the Heat are getting tired of Whiteside the same way Houston is tired of Howard.
Boston makes a move and improves their roster, making them a contender while seeing if they want to keep Whiteside after a test run. They could lock up their young center of the future, and still have plenty of picks along with cap space to chase a top free agent. With this deal they will also have a more attractive roster for one of those free agents. They also get the expiring contract of Luol Deng, who is a veteran that can help them on the wing in a postseason run this year, and they will not be locked into his $11 million dollars next year.
Utah's 1st round pick
If Atlanta wants to trade Jeff Teague, one team that would be interested is the Utah Jazz. A team currently fighting for the 8th seed out west. The Jazz have been a nice story and a much improved team this year. Teague would give them the floor general they desperately need and would make their starting five much more potent. The Jazz wouldn’t make a dent in the postseason, but this move would surely give them a leg up over Houston, Portland and Sacramento in the playoff race. With Teague being under contract for next year, the Jazz can work on getting free agents to surround Teague and the young nucleus and try to convince Teague that Utah is serious about competing in the West.
For Atlanta this would be waving the towel on this season and just trying to compile assets and cap room to hit the reset button for 2017.
Toronto's 1st round pick
The Suns need to get Morris out of Phoenix, it is just a toxic environment in the desert. The Suns’ management has done a terrible job with player relationships and it has been dysfunctional since last year. There is no reason to keep Morris, who was unhappy when his twin brother was traded, then buried on the bench most of the year until Earl Watson took over as head coach. Morris’s incidents this year include throwing a towel at former head coach Jeff Hornacek and getting into a pushing match on the sidelines during a recent game with teammate Archie Goodwin. The Suns should just look to get whatever they can for him as his value has dropped significantly. This deal saves them 2 million in cap space next year and then frees up 8 million the next two years after that to go along with a draft pick.
If you are Toronto this could be risky. The Raptors have been one of the hottest teams in the league and are in second place in the Eastern Conference. The move certainly is an upgrade in talent as Morris’s ceiling is much higher than Patterson, but Morris has had his issues and could disrupt the Raptors’ chemistry. As we’ve seen in the past, with the Rajon Rondo disaster in Dallas, chemistry can’t be overlooked. This could just be an issue of a player needing a change of scenery or he could be the problem, and mess up the nice season Toronto is having, while also being stuck with him for three more years. On paper the deal gets them closer to getting past Cleveland, but it is a deal Toronto will really have to do some research on.
Al Horford Kyle Korver
Boston's 1st round pick
If Atlanta wanted to start over and blow things up, this would be a radical way to do it. Boston would get the center and shooter they’ve needed and instantly become Eastern Conference contenders. Orlando has been linked to wanting to deal Teague for Oladipo, so in this scenario Atlanta gets a young, talented guard, and Orlando gets a veteran guard and tries to contend for a playoff spot this year. Atlanta would also have to get draft picks from Boston in this deal, perhaps Boston’s first rounder and Dallas’s first rounder that Boston owns, along with another future pick. Orlando would give Atlanta a second round pick. Atlanta has nice pieces for a rebuild in the draft picks and Oladipo, they also get two young, talented players in Zeller and Nicholson, who will be free agents at year’s end that they can evaluate and see if they fit into their future. They also get Lee’s expiring contract which gives them cap flexibility for next year. This deal makes Boston a serious contender in the East and can get it done with all of their assets, and still get to keep the Nets’ pick this year.
Boston’s first round pick and a future pick
Boston has the assets and are so close to being a contender. They need to do something with all the assets they have. This could be a good move for this season. The Celtics get the center they need while only giving up one of its three picks this year. The risk is giving up too much to get Howard, who could walk at the end of the year. Howard also has diminished skills and has been a distraction recently. If they can do this while giving up just one of their three first round picks this year and not give up to much else, this could be a game changer even if it is just a half-season rental. If your Houston, at this point he is such a cancer and he and Harden clearly won’t work. Their goal should be to just try to get what you can and hope his name gives you more in return than you actually deserve.