A Trade for Every Eastern Conference Team: 6-10
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Yes, this Christmas song is currently playing on repeat in my head. The NBA trade deadline and offseason are personally my two favorite times of the year. I love teams making moves, adding and subtracting players trying to get it right. Trade deadline is hours away, it came quick! As the deals are being purposed behind closed door and we wait for Woj & Shams to drop bombs. I’m going to go through each Eastern Conference team and propose my best trades for each franchise. In addition, some teams may be apart of more deals than others.
Charlotte Hornets (23-30)
*Cleveland Cavaliers send the Brooklyn Nets 2018 First Round Draft Pick to Charlotte*
Ignore Michael Jordan and his smoke screen interview about how he views this current Hornets roster. Hornets underperform every year, they fail to reach expectations and either just miss or just make the cut for playoffs. It’s time to rebuild and get some of these bigger contracts off the books. The Hornets in this scenario get the prized possession in terms of the Brooklyn Nets first rounder. Cheap players in Jae Crowder and Iman Shumpert. Tristan Thompson becomes the center likely behind Cody Zeller, who will get a chance to have the starting job. Channing Frye is an expiring, Isaiah Thomas is the boom or bust factor of the deal. Steve Clifford is a defense first guy, not Brad Stevens like, however he may be able to find a way to hide Isaiah Thomas on defense. In a place like Charlotte it also gives Thomas a good chance to earn a max money deal he seeks. IT also could find a serious home in Charlotte, underdog fans could rally behind and support a guy like Thomas. Another positive for the Hornets is shedding the contracts of Dwight Howard and Nicolas Batum.
Yes, it’s a major move for the Cavaliers, it’s almost impossible to not have at least one trade from every team that could be directly connected to the Cavs. For the Cavaliers this trade has a few positives. For one they get win now players, Kemba Walker and Dwight Howard are having very good years, while as Nicolas Batum has struggled, recently his shot and overall game have come back to him. All of these guys play solid defense and two are solid 3-point shooters, believe it or not it's not Howard. Another thing that would intrigue Cleveland in this scenario is that if, IF, LeBron James does walk. The franchise has some stability going forward with these 3 and Kevin Love locked up.
Detroit Pistons (27-26)
*Detroit Pistons send 2020 First Round Draft pick & 2018 Second Round Draft pick*
Pistons went from pretenders to we really want to be real and respected. Blake Griffin was the first splash and it sounds they want to add some depth at the wing position. DeMarre Carroll would be a great addition to have after his resurgence in Brooklyn. Joe Harris would be a more ready Luke Kennard. Harris has really caught my eye, very high IQ and skilled shooter.
The Nets are young and have what looks to be a promising core. While some players right now can be flipped for more assets in the long term. Nets here get more picks for DeMarre Carroll, Sean Marks you sly guy you. Anthony Tolliver adds some needed size while being an expiring. Langston Galloway a backup guard mainly for a cap filler. While the key player asset being rookie Luke Kennard, tons of potential and has shown in glimpses some of his shooting abilities and footwork.
Philadephia 76ers (26-25)
*Philadelphia 76ers send 2018 First Round Draft Pick to Los Angeles*
The Eagles won a Super Bowl, Embiid and Simmons have next. The Sixers are tough and they have a really god young roster. Missing Fultz and having his injury confusing and from the outside looking in possible career damaging. There’s a need for a guard who can play off the dribble and score. TJ McConnell is great as a backup, he does every above average besides shooting. Jerad Bayless should be paid-less, he’s hard to watch and needs a replacement. Jordan Clarkson has been named an odd man out for the future of the Los Angeles Lakers. Clarkson would make a perfect change in tempo, aggressive scoring guard the Sixers haven’t had this year. They lose out on a draft pick, but for a mid-20 year old guard, the decision would be easy.
Los Angeles Lakers, although if I was Magic Johnson and Lakers brass. I would keep Clarkson and Julius Randle, but we know LA has hopes for free agent stars. Getting a first round draft pick would possibly be used to help strengthen a different trade package. A package I’m referring to would be one with Luol Deng and the draft pick being used as a sweetener, perhaps in this deal, Julius Randle is even packaged. Lakers are more concerned with the future than now.
Miami Heat (29-26)
*Miami Heat send 2020 Second Round Draft Pick to Memphis*
The Miami Heat and Eric Spoelstra should be respected. A great coached unit that plays for each other and hard on defense. The Heat have solid pieces with guys like Tyler Johnson (When healthy) and Josh Richardson. Both have really shinned this year. Pat Riley uses this deadline to trade Winslow who’s defensive mindset fits the old culture of Memphis. For Tyreke Evans who is having a career year. Evans is the type of versatile ball-handler that the Heat lack. Evans won’t make the Heat a contender, but he could be the guy who helps the Heat surprise the East with an Eastern Conference Finals appearance.
For Memphis it’s pretty cut and dry with why this deal happens. Mike Conley done for the year, Marc Gasol another year older, Evans a free agent to be. THAT DAMN CHANDLER PARSONS CONTRACT!! It’s time to look toward the future, so they get the young Winslow, a draft pick for a draft not to far down the road.
Indiana Pacers (30-25)
*Indiana Pacers send 2018 First Round Draft pick to New York*
Now there’s a good chance that the Pacers won’t make a move, recent comments have suggested they won’t. I feel the Pacers want to go and compete as far as they can with this core, which means players around the core could be moved. Al Jefferson has been good in spurts, but he’s no modern day center. Bojan Bogdanovic when his shot is falling he’s fun to watch, however that’s only about 35% of the time. While on the defensive end he’s a nuisance, but not locking anyone down. Courtney Lee gives them shooting and solid wing defense, a nice complimentary player. While Kyle O’quinn can help the Pacers hopefully, play a little more physical down low.
Knicks are in shutdown mode as they hope and pray, Kristaps Porzingis, comes back healthy and good as new. Jefferson and Bogdanovic are pieces likely dealt again in the future, but can play minutes now while they are needed. The reason this is a deal for the Knicks is the Pacers draft pick.
Indiana Pacers deadline deal PART 2
It was reported minutes before I went to post this that the Pacers are willing to take on money for a first rounder so here's how that could play out.
The Pacers could target the Knicks first rounder by taking on Joakim Noah's contract or Enes Kanter.
The Pacers could target the Magics first rounder by taking on any of their overpaid guys such as Evan Fournier, Bismack Biyombo.