The NBA is back in full swing. The Disney bubble has worked nearly flawlessly and is producing high-quality basketball. With that being said, eight teams are missing out on it. That doesn’t bode well for their development. NBA trades will likely be in full swing this coming offseason, especially with a relatively weak free-agent class. The league’s bottom teams need to be active to make a run at next season’s playoffs.
Potential NBA Trades to Help the Bottom Three Teams
Golden State Warriors
This would be one of the biggest NBA trades in history.
Record-wise, the Warriors are the worst team in the league this season. If healthy, of course, this wouldn’t be the case. The Warriors still have the Splash Bros in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and they should return in full strength next season. Even without making moves, the Warriors will be contenders next season. If they manage to bring in Antetokounmpo, they instantly become title-favorites.
The Bucks play in the playoffs could decide Antetokounmpo’s future. If they win the championship, he could very well sign a major extension. If they don’t make the Finals, the Bucks may have their hand forced into trading him before he hits free agency in 2021.
There’s no explaining as to why the Warriors would make this move. They receive the reigning MVP and could extend their dynasty for up to another decade.
The Bucks, on the other hand, only do this if they don’t believe they can retain Antetokounmpo.
Wiggins is a very solid player but gets paid like a superstar. Along with Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe, however, he could keep the Bucks in playoff contention. Paschall had a very promising rookie season, where he averaged 14 points per game. Lastly, the Warriors pick will, at the very worst, end up in the top five in the draft.
It’s going to take at least a couple of seasons before the Cavaliers return to the playoffs. Due to that fact, this trade is geared towards helping them in the future.
Love can still produce at a high-level. He’s not on the same timeline as Cleveland’s young core, however. Love is best suited as a complementary star, as he can’t lead a team to the playoffs on his own. His contract is heavy, and wouldn’t allow the Cavaliers to have free reign in free agency in the future.
In this trade, Cleveland will bring in Ariza. He’s simply a role player at this point in his career, but his contract is off the books by the time 2021 free agency begins. At worst he would be a solid bench player and a mentor to the Cavaliers’ young players. Little, on the other hand, is a piece for the future. He hasn’t had enough opportunities to show his skills in Portland, but the raw talent is clearly there. At only 20 years old, Little has plenty of time to develop.
Portland is in danger of missing the playoffs this season after making the Western Conference Finals last season. This is due in large part to injury, but Portland also lacks power forward depth. Love would be a great addition alongside Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, and the Trail Blazers would have a great power forward rotation with him and Zach Collins. Love’s name always comes up when NBA trades and Portland are discussed. He’s a great fit.
In a tough Western Conference, however, those two need help. Minnesota will have a high draft pick and should look to bring back Malik Beasley in free agency. Adding Randle would certainly give them a very potent offense. Randle gets criticized often for things such as his work ethic, but there’s no doubt that he can be an effective player. This season he nearly averaged a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. He could prove to be a strong fit with Towns in the frontcourt.
Smith hasn’t lived up to his expectations. He had a solid rookie year with the Dallas Mavericks but has declined since then. He’s still only 22, however, and could make a case for Minnesota’s back-up point guard position.
Culver has disappointed as Minnesota’s lottery pick in 2019. Everything he showed in college, however, could make him a great fit for Tom Thibodeau’s Knicks. Culver is a hard-working player and a solid defender. Like Smith Jr., he still has plenty of time to grow.
Johnson enters the trade to make the salaries work. He’s well beyond his prime and overpaid. It’s known that Thibodeau likes his former Chicago Bulls players, however, and could very well like to have Johnson as a veteran for a season.
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