Teams were more active than expected during this year’s trade deadline. But more important than the moves that were made were the moves that some contending teams didn’t make at the deadline.
Perhaps a trade couldn’t materialize before the deadline, or maybe they felt they were good as is.
Nonetheless, I’ve constructed some realistic and semi-realistic trade ideas that should have been made for some contending teams at the deadline.
Bulls trade: Kyle Korver and 2012 first-round pick
Grizzlies trade: OJ Mayo
Why the Bulls would do it
The only missing ingredient from the Bulls’ roster is a second perimeter player who can create offense for himself and others. The Bulls expressed interest in Mayo last year, but felt a trade would disrupt the chemistry.
Chicago still believes Richard Hamilton will ultimately end up being that missing piece even though he’s been a disappointment to this point.
Why the Grizzlies would do it
More than likely, Memphis will choose not pay Mayo once he hits free agency—not after they gave a four-year $66 million extension to Zach Randolph, five years and $82 million to
Rudy Gay and four years and $57 million to Marc Gasol. It’s doubtful that Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley will step into the luxury tax to pay Mayo.
Meanwhile, Korver would add perimeter shooting to a Grizzlies team ranked 27th in three-point percentage. The deal could save the Grizzlies money while addressing a team need.
Hawks Trade Josh Smith
Rockets Trade Kyle Lowry and Samuel Dalembert
Why the Hawks would do it
Josh Smith is unhappy in Atlanta and the organization made it clear Smith can be had for the right price. What the Hawks want is a talented young point guard, and that is where Lowry fits the bill.
Dalembert would allow Al Horford to play his natural position of power forward, where he would guard mobile big men more frequently, and his $7 million expiring contract is icing on
The Hawks reached their peak last year in the second round. It’s time for a change.
Why the Rockets would do it
Daryl Morey has been trying to swing a big trade for the last three years.
He got burned in the attempted Pau Gasol deal, through no fault of his own.
It’s hard for the Rockets to improve because they have been stuck in the low-40 win category, no-man’s land in the Western Conference.
Smith makes for an excellent building block for the frontcourt due to his versatility and his defensive ability.
Celtics Trade: Ray Allen
Raptors Trade: Amir Johnson and Jerryd Bayless
Why would the Celtics do it
This is the last year that the big three will take the hardwood together. And in light of Boston’s struggles this year, Danny Ainge wants to get something for one of them before free-agency.
The easiest to trade would have been Ray Allen because of his medium-sized expiring contract. Amir Johnson gives the Celtics much-needed frontcourt help now that Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Wilcox won’t be playing for them for the rest of the year.
The Celtics were high on Johnson in the offseason two years, and he’s had a good season to this point.
Why would the Raptors do it
Bargnani has improved offensively, Ed Davis is an intriguing young player and they have Jonas Valanciunas coming over next season—Johnson sounds like the odd man out. Jerryd Bayless is a young and talented player, but his skill set is best served on a more disciplined team such as Boston.
Oklahoma City-New York Knicks
Thunder: Use Trade Exception of Byron Mullens
Knicks Give: Mike Bibby
Why the Knicks would do it
I’m not sure if there’s anything I can add. Bibby has been so bad defensively that he fell out of favor with Mike D’Antoni.
Why the Thunder would do it
It’s not a critical move, but with Eric Maynor going down with a torn ACL earlier in the season it would’ve been smart for the Thunder to acquire another ballhandler as insurance even though Bibby is just about done. Royal Ivey is a good defender but has offensive limitations, and Reggie Jackson is more of a shooting guard than a point guard.
Nuggets Trade: Andre Miller
Blazers Trade Jamal Crawford
Why the Blazers would do it
I'm not sure if the Blazers are interested in taking back Andre Miller, but Jamal Crawford wasn’t happy in Portland and found himself of in middle of some of the animosity that the team had for the former coach Nate McMilllan.
Miller would be the lesser of the two evils here and taking back his expiring $7.8 million contract will dispel any reservations the Blazers might have. This is a team that’s rebuilding and needs to shed as much money as possible.
Why the Nuggets would do it
Crawford gives the Nuggets a go-to scorer in crunch time. Sure, he doesn’t always take the best shots, but he always takes the big shots and makes them more often than not.