The NBA offseason has definitely slowed down since the draft and the free agent frenzy this summer. With tip-off a little over a month away, and teams beginning to get together for practice, plenty of front offices will be looking to improve. Don’t be surprised if rumors begin swirling again soon, as the NBA is notorious for always keeping fans on their feet. Take a look at three NBA trades that can still happen before the season begins.
This player swap is a popular trade idea, and for good reason. Simmons clearly wants out in Philadelphia, and it seems as if many of the fans reciprocate the same.
In this trade, Simmons lands in Portland. He remains on a competitive team led by Damian Lillard, and gets a chance to rejuvenate his All-Star career. Lillard will handle the bulk of the scoring, but Simmons will bring tenacious defense, ball-handling when Lillard is out, but also become a potentially lethal pick-and-roll partner with Lillard. This is a great pairing on paper. Losing McCollum is also not detrimental to Portland, as the Lillard-McCollum combination isn’t the answer. Furthermore, Portland has another great scorer in Norman Powell.
Philadelphia has needed an extra scoring boost and shooting for some time. Simmons obviously doesn’t bring this, but it’s exactly what McCollum specializes in. McCollum has a few years on Simmons, but that shouldn’t matter as Joel Embiid and Philadelphia are clearly equipped to win now. Add in Tobias Harris, and Philadelphia’s scoring trio is elite. Simmons’ defense will be missed, but the 76ers still have another elite perimeter defender in Matisse Thybulle.
The Raptors and Siakam’s relationship has been souring over the past couple of seasons. Siakam looked to be one of the league’s next frontcourt stars but didn’t play like it last season. He’s clearly talented and likely in need of a change of surroundings. Arriving in Sacramento will allow him to play with a plethora of talented guards, and he can shine alongside De’Aaron Fox. Furthermore, the Kings frontcourt defense with Siakam and Richaun Holmes would be something to watch. Watanabe is likely a depth player, but still talented.
Sacramento needs to unload some guards as well after drafting Davion Mitchell. Hield is the clear candidate here. Although Toronto re-signed Gary Trent Jr, they can feature Hield at shooting guard and move OG Anunoby up to the four. If they do this, and Chris Boucher starts at center, then the Raptors will be a terrifying team from deep. They’re due for an identity switch after losing Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry from the championship team. Furthermore, Bagley, a former top-five pick, also needs a change of scenery. Toronto gives him a chance to sign in a contract year, and he can possibly find his untapped potential and become the present and future of the Raptors’ frontcourt.
Minnesota is long overdue for a proper big man alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. In addition, Indiana is long overdue in splitting up Turner from Domantas Sabonis. Turner brings in solid rim protection, in addition to elite shot-blocking, next to Towns. This will allow Towns to do what he does best – score at will. Towns is more of an offensive expert than on defense, so Turner will feature as the frontcourt’s defensive specialist. Minnesota carries plenty of other young talents as well, so they can’t continue to stand pat and wallow at the bottom of the Western Conference.
The Turner and Sabonis duo in Indiana has long been under question. Perhaps it’s time for new head coach Rick Carlisle to change that. This will allow Sabonis to primarily play the five and dominate as Indiana’s most important big man. Beasley comes in with this trade and adds to the pool of strong Pacers guards. Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert are starters, but Beasley and LeVert are interchangeable at the two and three, while TJ Warren can man the four. This gives Indiana a strong team on both ends of the floor. They may be playing small to a certain degree, but Carlisle showed an appreciation for that while with the Dallas Mavericks.
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