NBA Trade Machine (Vol. 1)

 

NBA trade season is upon us, as almost all of this summer’s free agent signings are now on the table, and it truly is the most wonderful time of the year! This trade season was kicked off with a deal that sent Trevor Ariza from Phoenix to Washington in exchange for Austin Rivers and Kelly Oubre, Jr. Apologies to Oubre, who would have seen himself in Memphis, if not for that pesky other Brooks. GMing is hard, y’all; especially in Phoenix. Now that the first domino has fallen, expect a bevy of moves, especially as we get closer to the deadline. As for now; there are only five clear sellers that should be fielding a lot of calls the next several weeks; Atlanta, Cleveland, Chicago, New York, and the aforementioned Phoenix. With the John Wall injury, expect the Wizards to join that group soon. With that in mind, here are five trades that could happen between now and the deadline.

 

1. Knicks / Kings / Wizards

 

Knicks:
Zach Randolph – F/C

Kings:
Otto Porter, Jr. – SF
Courtney Lee – SG

Wizards:
Iman Shumpert – SG
Ben McLemore – SG
DET ’20 2nd Rd Pk (via SAC)
CHA ’21 2nd Rd Pk (via NYK)

 

New York Knicks:
The benefit here for the Knicks is obvious. Getting off Courtney Lee’s contract frees up just over $12.7 million in cap space next season, so they can target a max free agent; Kevin Durant in particular. Only having to give up a future 2nd seems well within a reasonable cost for New York.

Lineup:
PG: Mudiay, Ntilikina, Burke
SG: Hardaway, Trier, Dotson
SF: Knox, Thomas, Hezonja
PF: Porzingis, Vonleh, Kornet
C: Kanter, Robinson, Randolph

 

Sacramento Kings:
The Kings have been one of the most surprising teams in basketball this season, mainly due to the growth of Fox and Hield, as well the addition of Bjelica. With a slew of expiring contracts, over $10 million in cap space, and no forthcoming 1st rounder in next year’s draft, Sacramento should definitely be buyers this season, and bolster their wing depth. Porter would be an ideal fit as their starting SF, and Lee could provide veteran leadership, and quality minutes off the bench, at little cost to the franchise.

Lineup:
PG: Fox, Ferrell, Mason
SG: Hield, Bogdanovic, Lee
SF: Porter, Jackson
PF: Bjelica, Bagley, Giles, Labissiére
C: Cauley-Stein, Koufos

 

Washington Wizards:
The Wizards are in the worst position possible for an NBA team. They’re a fringe Playoff team in the luxury tax. This deal gets them well under the Apron and nets them a couple 2nds that could prove valuable. Detroit is always a Blake Griffin injury away from being a cellar team and Charlotte will live or die with Kemba’s free agency decision. Iman Shumpert also gives them a good bench player who can help out this season. With Wall now out for the season, Washington should really prioritize cutting salary both this season, and in the future.

Lineup:
PG: Wall, Satoransky
SG: Beal, Shumpert, McLemore
SF: Ariza, Dekker, Brown
PF: Morris, Green, White
C: Howard, Mahinmi, Bryant

 

2. Bulls / Sixers

 

Bulls:
Mike Muscala – F/C
CHI ’19 2nd Rd Pk
DAL ’20 2nd Rd Pk
DET ’21 2nd Rd Pk

Sixers:
Justin Holiday – G/F
Bobby Portis – F/C

 

Chicago Bulls:
The Bulls are an absolute dumpster fire, and should be huge sellers this season. They may want to hold on to Portis, as they have the ability to match any offer sheet he may sign, and he’s a good backup for Markkannen and Carter. However, he hardly fixes any of their current problems and investing in role players is not the best use of cap space for a rebuilding franchise. Getting back a guaranteed quality 2nd rounder and two potentially good 2nd rounders to boot seems like a fair price.

Lineup:
PG: Dunn, Arcidiacomo, Harrison, Payne
SG: LaVine, Valentine, Blakeney
SF: Hutchison
PF: Markkannen, Muscala, Parker
C: Carter, Lopez, Felicio

 

Philadelphia 76ers:
The Sixers have gone all in with the Jimmy Butler trade, and though they’d probably like to move Fultz for a more promising stretch forward; Juan Hernangomez comes to mind; the fact is, his value is at an all time low, and the Sixers would probably be best served to see what he looks like in the G-League, and explore trade possibilities for him in the offseason. That aside, the Sixers have more 2nd rounders than they know what to do with, and would be best served to utilize those in exchange for quality depth. Holiday would provide them the shooter they covet, while Portis would be a solid backup to Chandler and Embiid.

Lineup:
PG: Simmons, McConnell, Shamet
SG: Redick, Korkmaz, Fultz
SF: Butler, Holiday, Smith
PF: Chandler, Portis, Bolden
C: Embiid, Johnson, Patton

 

3. Hawks / Rockets

 

Hawks:
Brandon Knight – PG
Marquese Chriss – F/C
HOU ’19 1st Rd Pk (1-14 Protected)

Rockets:
Kent Bazemore – G/F

 

Atlanta Hawks:
The Hawks, heavily entrenched in the rebuilding process, should relish the opportunity to flip Bazemore for a 1st rounder. The only way they’ll be able to do so is by taking on a bad contract, and Knight fits that bill. He has looked terrible for the Rockets, but getting a 1st and shaving about $3.5 million in salary next season should be worth it for Atlanta.

Lineup:
PG: Young, Lin, Knight
SG: Huerter, Dorsey, Hamilton
SF: Prince, Bembry, Anderson
PF: Collins, Spellman, Carter
C: Dedmon, Len, Plumlee

 

Houston Rockets:
The Rockets desperately need a defensive minded wing who can hit open threes. Bazemore is that guy. He is vastly overpaid, but getting off of Knight’s atrocious contract in exchange for a contributor makes absolute sense for them, and this team would be much more formidable going forward. Baze has struggled a bit from deep this season, but shot 39% from three last season, and with veteran playmakers surrounding him, I’d expect his numbers to creep back to what they were last season, if not surpass them.

Lineup:
PG: Paul, Rivers, Carter-Williams
SG: Harden, Gordon, Green
SF: Bazemore, Ennis
PF: Tucker, Hartenstein, Clark
C: Capela, Nene

 

4. Knicks / Mavericks

 

Knicks:
Wesley Matthews – G/F
Dennis Smith, Jr. – PG

Mavericks:
Tim Hardaway, Jr. – G/F
Frank Ntilikina – G/F

 

New York Knicks:
The Knicks need a promising true point guard, and Smith could be that. He has some efficiency questions, but certainly fits that bill better than Ntilikina, as of now. They could also stand to shed as much cap space as possible, and Matthews’ expiring deal in exchange for Hardaway’s deal helps out immensely in that regard.

Lineup:
PG: Smith, Mudiay, Burke
SG: Lee, Matthews, Trier, Dotson
SF: Knox, Thomas, Hezonja
PF: Porzingis, Vonleh, Kornet
C: Kanter, Robinson

 

Dallas Mavericks:
The Mavericks have the obvious desire to make the Playoffs, and Hardaway would go a long way as it pertains to scoring. Additionally, Ntilikina fits so much better with Dončić than Smith. He’s a great young defender, and with Luka dominating the ball, Frank can work way better off the ball than Dennis, and help defensively in ways that Smith can’t.

Lineup:
PG: Ntilikina, Barea, Brunson
SG: Hardaway, Harris, Broekoff
SF: Barnes, Finney-Smith
PF: Dončić, Kleber, Nowitzki, Spalding
C: Jordan, Powell, Meijri

 

5. Hornets / Bulls

 

Hornets:
Jabari Parker – F
Robin Lopez – C
Anthony Blakeney – SG

Bulls:
Michael Kidd-Gilchrest – SF
Bismack Biyombo – C
Frank Kaminsky – F/C
CHA ’19 1st Rd Pk (1-10 Protected)

 

Charlotte Hornets:
The Hornets primary goal as of now is re-signing Kemba, and this deal sheds an immense amount of cap space to do so, without them entering the luxury tax. And, if Kemba happens to walk, this deal affords Charlotte the necessary cap space to take on unwanted contracts, attached with picks, in the future.

Lineup:
PG: Walker, Parker, Graham
SG: Lamb, Monk, Blakeney
SF: Batum, Bridges, Bacon
PF: Williams, Parker
C: Zeller, Hernangomez, Lopez

 

Chicago Bulls:
The Bulls are a few years away from competing, and though taking an additional $30 million in salary next season limits cap flexibility, a mid tier 1st rounder would be great for their rebuild, and the money would be off the books by the following season. In addition, MKG is still young, and has room for improvement, though a huge jump in performance is unlikely.

Lineup:
PG: Dunn, Arcidiacomo, Harrison, Payne
SG: LaVine, Valentine
SF: Kidd-Gilchrest, Holiday, Hutchison
PF: Markkannen, Portis, Kaminsky
C: Carter, Biyombo, Felicio

About Nix Myth

Nick Smith is one of the founding members of GVN, host of the NBA podcast, Full Court Press, regular panelist on the flagship podcast, Geek Vibes Live, and a writer for the website.