It’s that time of year. NBA chaos has already broken out ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, so much so that many seem to think the NBA is received more media coverage than the Super Bowl last week. Between the Anthony Davis rumors and the Kristaps Porzingis trade, it’s already been a very exciting trade deadline. That being said, I’ll be going through trades I think can happen by 3 p.m. ET (All trades via ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine).
Kings Are Buyers
This trade helps out all parties involved. Let’s start with the Kings. The Kings currently sit one game out of the playoffs in a tight Western Conference after a huge win vs. the Spurs on Monday night. They haven’t been to the playoffs since 2006, and must be itching to get back. What would enhance their chances? Grabbing a solid young player in Taurean Prince, and Enes Kanter who can come off the bench for 15 minutes a game to grab some offensive rebounds. Yes, they’re giving up a 2022 first round pick, Justin Jackson, and cash which steep, but they see this as an opportunity to grab a future piece in Taurean Prince. He’s not a guy who will only be there for this season, but for the future, and he’s on a rookie contract.
The Knicks need to get rid of Enes Kanter. Everything he says is hurting the team and the locker room at this point, and he’s getting no minutes. Ship him out for an expiring contract in Iman Shumpert, who they’re very familiar with, and cash considerations and they’ll be just fine with that.
The Hawks want to get rid of Taurean Prince. I have a feeling this may have something to do with the two lottery picks that they’ll have in a draft where they can easily draft another small forward. That being said, they’re getting a first rounder and Justin Jackson for Prince, which is an extremely solid haul. Jackson is still a young player who’s only in his sophomore season, and that first round pick will probably be a mid-round selection. Hawks make that deal any day.
76ers Add Bench Pieces
The 76ers need bench players, specifically guys who can’t shoot the three ball. That’s no secret, and I have no doubt they’re going to get a deal done. The most obvious trade for them features Wesley Matthews, a guy who’s averaging just under 13 PPG, and shooting approximately 41% from beyond the arc. Matthews can come off the bench and catch and shoot, something that would be absolutely perfect for them.
I’d like to give a shoutout to Bryan Gibberman (@BryanGibberman) of The Knicks Wall for bringing this exact trade up on Twitter. It made so much sense I had to throw it in here. The Knicks are going to look to move Matthews, who they just acquired in the Porzingis trade. There’s no point in keeping a guy like Matthews on the roster when there will definitely be a market for him. The Knicks get expiring contracts back in Wilson Chandler and Furkan Korkmaz, and a second round pick. Chandler will be bought out, while Korkmaz will probably stick out the year on the roster. That second round pick is an asset though, and the Knicks will be happy to acquire it for Matthews.
The 76ers aren’t done yet. They’re heading to another team that’ll be seller in the Magic and getting D.J Augustin, a 10-year vet who’s having a solid season, averaging over 11 PPG and shooting over 43% from downtown. The 76ers are giving up two second round picks, but they have a plethora of those down the road anyway. Not a huge loss to gain what will be a very valuable bench piece.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen in Orlando at the deadline, but there could be a fire sale. Getting two second round picks for D.J Augustin isn’t a bad start.
Thunder Upgrade Their Bench
This is pretty funny because I know what everyone’s thinking. The Thunder already had Jeremy Lamb already. Well he’s a lot better this time around. Lamb’s averaging nearly 15 PPG to go along with nearly 6 RPG. He can shoot from downtown, and would be a nice player for the Thunder to bring off their bench alongside Dennis Schroeder. In addition, the first round pick they’re giving up is going to fall in the 20s.
The Hornets have the worst future in the NBA. They could lose Kemba Walker to free agency, and they have bad contracts all around such as Nic Batum, Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller. This team needs to acquire any assets they can at this point. If they can get a first round pick for Jeremy Lamb, they should take it every time.
Clippers Add Gasol
The Clippers need a center, and I expect them to trade for one on Thursday. The first name that comes to mind is Marc Gasol, who’s on the trading block for the Grizzlies. Gasol, 34, can help fill this void for the Clippers, as he’s averaging nearly 16 PPG and 9 PRG. As he’s been his whole career, Gasol is also a great defender, averaging a block and a steal per game while having 3 defensive win shares. To get Gasol, the Clippers giving up a couple of expiring contracts plus Thornwell and a couple of picks. If you’re the Clippers right now, you need to go for the playoffs now and prove yourself as a potential free agency destination. Trade the picks, and don’t look back. If the Clippers don’t wind up acquiring a center at the deadline, look for them to head to the buyout market.
The Grizzlies would be happy to receive a first and second round pick along with expiring contracts for Gasol. At this point, it’s just acquiring as many assets as possible for them, and that’s a pretty good return for a 34-year old center.
Jazz Add Conley
Wow. This could wind up being the blockbuster trade to go down on Thursday. I absolutely love the Jazz acquiring Conley, as he’s a great fit and would potentially make them a Western Conference Finals contender. Utah would give up two first round picks (one of them protected) along with Rubio, Favors, and their 2018 first round pick in Grayson Allen. This is a no brainer for Utah, as both of those picks are going to be in the 20s, and Rubio and Favors probably don’t have much of a future in Salt Lake City. Grayson Allen is decently valuable piece, but you have to part with him to get a player of Conley’s caliber. Don’t underrate the acquisition of JaMychal Green either, who is a decent player that can replace Favors for the rest of this season. The backcourt of Conley and Mitchell would easily become one of the league’s best, and pair that with Rudy Gobert and the Jazz are one of the favorites, in my opinion, to reach the Western Conference Finals.
This is a solid haul for Conley. Two first round picks and a young player in Grayson Allen that I think fits the typical Memphis mold perfectly? The Grizzlies would definitely accept that trade. Just keep acquiring those assets Memphis. A rebuild is here.
What about Anthony Davis?
It seems pretty clear that the Pelicans are refusing to make a deal with the Lakers at this point. Woj is reporting that they’ve asked for four first round picks in addition to the Lakers young core, and that’s just something that’s unrealistic. The Pelicans are going to attempt to wait and try and acquire Jayson Tatum and more from the Celtics during the summer unless something drastic changes between now and Thursday.