NBA

The Best Trade Chip Every Team Has to Dangle Before the 2014 NBA Draft

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2014

The Best Trade Chip Every Team Has to Dangle Before the 2014 NBA Draft

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    With the NBA draft fast approaching, moving and shaking around the Association is set to kick into high gear. 

    Whether it's names such as Kevin Love swirling in trade rumors or lottery picks potentially being swapped for veteran talent, there's no shortage of intrigue surrounding each of the league's 30 clubs as a potential landscape-shifting draft nears. 

    In the following slideshow, we'll break down each team's best trade chip—whether that's one player, a draft pick or a combination of assets—in order to discern deals that could be on the horizon. As is generally the case, teams are listed in alphabetical order by city, starting with the Atlanta Hawks.

Atlanta Hawks

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    Best Trade Chip: Paul Millsap 

    More than anything, Paul Millsap's contract situation is what makes him the Atlanta Hawks' best trade chip entering the 2014 offseason. 

    When Hawks general manager Danny Ferry signed Millsap to a two-year, $19 million deal last July, it was seen as highway robbery. 

    And boy was it, because Millsap thrived to the tune of a career-best 17.9 points per game, 8.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.7 steals and a player efficiency rating of 19.8, according to Basketball-Reference.com.

    It's admittedly early in the process to gauge if Millsap will be a part of the Hawks' future, but if Ferry deems that he's more interested in obtaining a prime young prospect in the draft, an intriguing deal could feasibly develop with a lottery team.

Boston Celtics

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    Best Trade Chip: Rajon Rondo 

    The Boston Celtics' best trade chip is Rajon Rondo, and it's not really close. But that doesn't mean the team should necessarily be interested in dealing him. 

    With one year and a shade under $13 million remaining on his contract, per ShamSports.com, Rondo's deal would be appealing to franchises looking for either a one-year rental or future franchise cornerstone. 

    And as ESPN's Jeff Goodman recently pointed out, the selection of Marcus Smart (who has a workout scheduled with the club) at No. 6 overall could realistically allow Danny Ainge to move Rondo in a deal over the next few months. 

    Finding a team willing to pony up significant assets for a potential rental figures to be tough, but if the franchise is thinking about moving in a different direction, now would be the time to deal the passing savant.

Brooklyn Nets

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    Best Trade Chip: Deron Williams 

    The Brooklyn Nets don't have many assets one would consider appealing due to their bloated contracts, but that doesn't mean the team won't attempt to shake things up this summer. 

    According to Bleacher Report's Howard Beck, Williams could be a casualty of some retooling after an underwhelming regular season and disappointing postseason: 

    "There is an alternative, sources say, the Nets will not rule out: They could look to trade Williams this summer, retool around Johnson and Lopez, squeeze one more run out of Pierce and Garnett and hope for the best." 

    Due roughly $63 million over the final three years of his deal, per ShamSports.com, Williams would be tremendously difficult to deal, but he's the most realistic candidate on a team saddled with serious financial inflexibility.

Charlotte Hornets

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    Best Trade Chip: No. 9 overall pick 

    The Charlotte Hornets find themselves in a fortuitous position after some luck on lottery night, which means they can afford to get creative at No. 9 overall. 

    After a stronger-than-expected 2013-14 campaign, the Hornets are looking like they could wedge their way into the Eastern Conference playoff picture for years to come if they can simply obtain another quality scorer or two. 

    That is what makes this speculation from Grantland's Bill Simmons so intriguing: 

    "If you’re Charlotte, wouldn’t you shop that no. 9 straight-up for Al Jefferson’s old buddy Millsap, or maybe Monroe or Afflalo? I think two of those teams are making a move."

    Now, there's been nothing concrete reported on the trade front for Charlotte just yet, but bypassing the option to select a prospect at No. 9 overall in lieu of adding quality veteran talent up front is just one way in which the team could parlay its recent luck into long-term success. 

Chicago Bulls

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    Best Trade Chip: Non-Guaranteed Contracts

    This may seem a little strange at first sight, but the Chicago Bulls were acting prudently when signing names like Ronnie Brewer, Mike James and Lou Amundson. 

    ESPN's Marc Stein explains why: 

    Among some rival teams, meanwhile, Chicago's seemingly minor late-signing signings of veterans Lou Amundson, Ronnie Brewer and Mike James were interpreted as a signal that the Bulls must have something up their sleeve, because that trio's fully non-guaranteed combined salary of $4.07 millions theoretically adds up to a useful trade chip in a major deal. 

    Rumblings have surrounded the Bulls' willingness to add another star in free agency (namely Carmelo Anthony) for months now, but it's worth keeping an eye on the team's tradable assets. 

    While the names aren't anything special on the surface, they have the ability to entice clubs looking for cap relief, as noted above. 

    One could argue for Taj Gibson's candidacy here, but with Carlos Boozer a possible amnesty casualty, Gibson will become an integral piece of the team's long-term frontcourt picture. 

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Best Trade Chip: Tristan Thompson 

    Could the Cleveland Cavaliers be suitors for Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love? 

    If last year's predraft moving and shaking is any indicator, then the Cavaliers will likely try and make a move for the game's most versatile power forward in the weeks ahead. 

    Just consider this tidbit from ESPN's Andy Katz from last June regarding the Cavs' pursuit of Love: 

    "According to a source, Cleveland offered the No. 1 pick, Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters to try and land Minnesota’s Kevin Love." 

    A similar offer might be more enticing this time around with the 2014 class loaded at all five positions, but the Timberwolves would undoubtedly be looking for some young pieces to build around, as well. 

    Enter Thompson, whose rookie-scale deal and ambidextrous intrigue make him a potential building block. 

    After nearly averaging a double-double this past season (11.7 points, 9.2 rebounds), Thompson has laid the foundation for a potentially prosperous career if he lands in a more favorable situation.

Dallas Mavericks

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    Best Trade Chip: Brandan Wright 

    The criminal underutilization of Brandan Wright has to stop sometime soon, which is why a trade in the final year of his contract could be in the best interest of the center and his current employer. 

    A lengthy, athletic monster who recorded the league's 13th-best player efficiency rating (23.6) behind Dirk Nowitzki and Blake Griffin last season, per ESPN, Wright has yet to play more than 20 minutes per game in a single season over his six-year career. 

    And with several key veteran pieces, such as Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter, set to hit free agency, the Mavericks could do well to shed $5 million in salary should they deem Wright as nothing more than a luxury. 

Denver Nuggets

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    Best Trade Chip: Kenneth Faried

    Dating back to the February deadline, Kenneth Faried has reportedly been available in trade talks, according to NBA.com's David Aldridge

    "There's been a lot of smoke around the league that Denver's made Faried available in trade talk. The Nuggets, of course, deny it, which means it's likely true."

    As if his stagnant numbers weren't enough, Aldridge also reported back in February that Faried may wind up the odd man out in a crowded Nuggets' locker room replete with long-term deals: 

    "The Nuggets have been unhappy with Faried's defense this season, and aren't inclined at the moment to give him a huge deal. They've already got $79 million committed the next two seasons to Lawson, JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari."

    With Faried due a qualifying offer in the summer of 2015, the Nuggets would be wise to move swiftly and decisively on the trade front, particularly with so many intriguing frontcourt prospects available in the June draft.

Detroit Pistons

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    Best Trade Chip: Greg Monroe in a sign-and-trade

    After surrendering their lottery pick due to a serendipitous bouncing of the Ping-Pong balls in favor of the Charlotte Hornets, the Detroit Pistons are scrambling for ways to add young assets. 

    One way to do so would be to ship out Greg Monroe in a sign-and-trade, which is starting to emerge as a realistic possibility after Stan Van Gundy was brought aboard as the club's new head coach and president of basketball operations, per Sporting NewsSean Deveney

    "Now, with Van Gundy in place on an eyebrow-raising contract—five years, $35 million—there is near certainty among league executives that Monroe has played his last game for Detroit," Deveney reported. 

    Getting some sort of prized long-term building block in exchange for Monroe feels unlikely, but getting any return on the franchise's investment should be at the top of the team's checklist as the offseason gets underway.

Golden State Warriors

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    Best Trade Chip: Klay Thompson 

    Whether they're willing to part with him or not, Klay Thompson remains the Golden State Warriors' best trade chip.

    Still on a rookie-scale deal with a proven track record, Thompson's value certainly trumps that of Harrison Barnes' on the open market and is considerably more appealing than David Lee's gluttonous deal and skill set rife with defensive deficiencies.

    But according to Bay Area News Group's Marcus Thompson, the Warriors are reluctant to part with the dynamic sharpshooter: 

    "A team source said the Warriors don't want to give up Klay Thompson to land Love. Draymond Green doesn't make enough to impact the trade financially. That leaves Barnes, whom the Warriors stuck by during his sophomore slump."

    The Warriors' logic is absolutely right in this case, but there's still no denying Thompson is the team's most valuable piece at this point in time. Bringing Love aboard will require some creative thinking, but if the Dubs can pull it off while holding onto Thompson, they'll have committed grand larceny.

Houston Rockets

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    Best Trade Chip: Omer Asik

    While Omer Asik remains an offensive liability, his ability to match up with the league's most physically imposing big men and provide sturdy defense makes him a valuable commodity entering the final year of his contract with the Houston Rockets. 

    Set to earn $8.4 million next season, per ShamSports.com, Asik remains intriguing due to his specialized skill set on defense. 

    And while he endured a rocky year under Kevin McHale's leadership, Asik helped the Rockets defense whenever he stepped on the floor. 

    According to NBA.com's stats database, the Rockets were 1.3 points better per 100 possessions on defense with Asik on the floor, while the team posted a net rating per 100 possessions of plus-3.4 with him roaming around in the paint. 

    Jeremy Lin, who has a similarly sized deal, is an equally attractive trade chip, but his value to the team's offensive dynamic figures to make him harder to part with.

Indiana Pacers

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    Best Trade Chip: None

    After trading Gerald Green, Miles Plumlee and a 2014 first-round pick for Luis Scola last summer, the Indiana Pacers left themselves with very few movable assets. 

    Roy Hibbert, David West, Paul George and George Hill are all pieces of the long-term puzzle for Frank Vogel's Pacers, and the team possesses few expiring contracts of note after this season. 

    The pressing task at hand for the Pacers will be finding a way to retain Lance Stephenson once he hits unrestricted free agency. 

    The regular-season leader in triple-doubles (five), Stephenson's earned himself a hefty raise after earning a shade over $1 million this season. 

    Averages of 13.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists accompanied a field-goal percentage of 49.1, and those numbers could balloon if he bolts for a destination that's ready to make him an offensive priority next season.

Los Angeles Clippers

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    Best Trade Chip: Jared Dudley 

    After a disappointing inaugural season in Los Angeles, Jared Dudley feels like the odd man out on the perimeter for the Clippers. 

    According to CBSSports.com's Ken Berger, the Clippers had interest in trading Dudley around the February trade deadline for help on the interior, so don't be surprised if you hear a similar story crop up this summer. 

    In need of depth behind bigs DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, the Clippers can't afford to roll into 2014-15 with a reserve platoon similar to that of Ryan Hollins and Glen Davis. 

    Rim protection and rebounding off the bench should be in the Clippers' crosshairs, and Dudley could be the movable piece that helps them patch things up in the frontcourt.

Los Angeles Lakers

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    Best Trade Chip: No. 7 overall pick 

    Given that the Los Angeles Lakers are entering this summer with Kobe Bryant, Robert Sacre and Steve Nash as their only players guaranteed to be under contract next season, the team's lottery pick earns the designation by default. 

    But just how feasible is it that the Lakers will wind up dealing said selection for a proven veteran talent?

    According to ESPN LA's Dave McMenamin, don't bank on it:

    One team staffer already conceded to ESPNLosAngeles.com late Tuesday night that falling to No. 7 hurts the team's chances for a potential trade, before adding, "but you never know how that might have turned out," no doubt still scarred by the memory of the franchise trading for Dwight Howard only to see him fail to sign an extension. 

    In need of a youthful injection in the midst of an unlikely rebuild, the Lakers should bypass any deals presented to them and snag a quality prospect such as Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart or Julius Randle in what could turn out to be a franchise-defining move.

Memphis Grizzlies

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    Best Trade Chip: Marc Gasol 

    The Memphis Grizzlies have expiring contracts aplenty, but they're not exactly the kind that figure to be dealt easily on short notice. 

    Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph (if he exercises his player option for next season) will be in the final years of their respective deals entering the 2014-15 campaign, while Tayshaun Prince's unsightly contract ($7.7 million in 2014-15, per ShamSports.com) will be terminated at the conclusion of next season. 

    But if we're to choose one player here, it has to be Gasol. 

    With the franchise entering a period of apparent turmoil, risking the loss of Gasol the following offseason may backfire if the small-market warriors don't put forth an impressive showing next season. 

    Preemptively dealing Gasol in a month's time would be a tough sell to just about everyone involved with the organization, but he's a fascinating name to keep an eye on as next season's trade deadline approaches.

Miami Heat

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    Best Trade Chip: None

    You can pretty much forget the Miami Heat making any meaningful trades this summer, because all of their time will be spent making deals on the free-agent market. 

    Should LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade (or any combination of the three) exercise their early-termination options, Pat Riley will need to restructure some of the league's highest-profile deals in order to smooth out the future of his franchise. 

    But that's not all, because Ray Allen and point guard Mario Chalmers will be unrestricted free agents this summer, as well. 

    And according to Bleacher Report's Michael Pina, Chalmers shouldn't be viewed as just a luxury to the stacked Heat: 

    Easily the most overlooked starting point guard in the NBA, Mario Chalmers should no longer be looked at as a coattail-rider.

    The 27-year-old two-time NBA champion ended his 2014 regular season with a career-best field-goal percentage, PER and assist rate. He’s one of the best defenders at his position and connected on a truly insane 51.3 percent of his corner-three attempts.

    Likely the focus of this summer's free-agent signing period, look for the Heat to remain active, despite owning few trade chips.

Milwaukee Bucks

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    Best Trade Chip: Larry Sanders 

    If the Milwaukee Bucks can find a taker for Larry Sanders and the $44 million remaining on his contract, they should pull the trigger and not think twice. 

    The good news is that the Bucks may already have an under-the-radar suitor for the enigmatic center, as reported by ESPN's Marc Stein

    On the subject of using their cap space to upgrade via trade as opposed to outright signings, Milwaukee's Larry Sanders remains another potential target after an absolute nightmare season. Monta has never been better since the Mavs imported him from Milwaukee; could life with Nowitzki, Carlisle and Cuban have a similar effect on Sanders? 

    For the Bucks, getting an equal return on their investment would seem to be almost out of the question after such a tumultuous 2013-14 season has the team looking to sell Sanders for pennies on the dollar, but eliminating the problem feels like a better solution than trying to solve it at this point. 

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    Best Trade Chip: Kevin Love

    Duh. 

    The centerpiece of seemingly every hypothetical trade floating around the internet these days, Kevin Love will draw unprecedented attention as the Minnesota Timberwolves field offers for the 25-year-old superstar. 

    It will take a king's ransom to pry Love away from the Timberwolves, but with one year and $15.7 million remaining on his deal before he can decline a 2015-16 player option, per ShamSports.com, it would behoove the Timberwolves to make a deal before letting him walk next summer. 

    However, according to team owner Glen Taylor, via the Star Tribune's Jerry Zgoda, don't expect Love to be dealt in advance of the draft: 

    “Not by the draft,” Taylor said before Sunday’s Lynx home opener at Target Center about such a possibility.

    Taylor said he hasn’t discussed that option recently with Flip Saunders, the team’s president of basketball operations, and said Love has not asked for or told the team to trade him.

    Taylor has remained hopeful the team, searching for a coach to replace Rick Adelman, will show enough improvement next season to convince Love his future is with a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in a decade.

    And while the draft would seem to represent a time to obtain peak return value for Love, the team may feel confident in its ability to pull off a trade by the time next February rolls around, when competitors are scrambling for title solutions.

New Orleans Pelicans

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    Best Trade Chip: Eric Gordon/Tyreke Evans

    Finding trade partners interested in assuming the burden of Eric Gordon's shoddy knees (and ankles) or Tyreke Evans' unsightly $44 million deal will be a major undertaking, but the New Orleans Pelicans should be in the trying spirit. 

    According to the New York Daily News' Mitch Lawrence, the Pelicans put names such as Gordon and Evans on the trade block back around the February deadline, with Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday the team's only real untouchables: 

    The Pelicans signed Tyreke Evans this past summer to a four-year, $44 million free-agent deal and then added veteran PG Jrue Holiday via a trade with the Sixers to join Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis.

    But all the moves haven't exactly clicked. In fact, they've backfired, with New Orleans losing 13 of its last 17 games after starting out 11-10. The front office's take? Team execs are saying at least those are assets that can be moved. Davis and Holiday are the keepers. 

    It will take some creative negotiation in order to convince one of the league's other 29 franchises to take a gamble on unreliable perimeter scorers with subpar defensive chops, but it can't hurt the Pelicans to give it a shot.

New York Knicks

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    Best Trade Chip: Iman Shumpert

    Given that the New York Knicks have next to no future assets of value in the form of draft picks and few young studs, Iman Shumpert earns the designation. 

    Of course, the Knicks nearly parted ways with Shumpert in February as they sought to obtain an upgrade at point guard in the form of Los Angeles Clippers point guard Darren Collison, according to ESPN's Marc Stein

    And while that deal never came to fruition, the Knicks' willingness to deal Shumpert in order to address other positions of need was on full display. 

    After the flat-topped swingman disappointed to the tune of a career-worst 6.7 points per game on 37.8 percent shooting from the field, 33.3 percent shooting from three and a player efficiency rating of 9.6, per Basketball-Reference.com, a change of scenery may be needed. 

    Perhaps a coaching change will re-energize the former first-round pick, but Shumpert looked like a shell of his 2012-13 self last season.

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Best Trade Chip: Jeremy Lamb

    The Oklahoma City Thunder figure to have few options available to them on the trade market this summer, with Thabo Sefolosha set to hit unrestricted free agency in July. 

    Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka are all untouchable. Reggie Jackson, especially on a team-friendly rookie-scale contract, should be the same. 

    Kendrick Perkins will enter this summer with a year and $9.4 remaining on his contract, but I'm not buying that the expiring nature of said deal will be enough to entice trade partners. 

    That leaves us with swingman Jeremy Lamb, who's still coming into his own at 21 years old (he turns 22 on May 30). 

    Although he didn't see ample playing time during his sophomore season, Lamb's minute-per-game average jumped up three-fold from 2012-13, as he made 78 appearances and no starts while averaging 8.5 points on 43.2 percent shooting during the regular season.

    With the three-point shooting stroke necessary to wedge his way into rotations across the league, Lamb is really the only Thunder player who figures to garner any sort of semi-valuable return this summer.

Orlando Magic

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    Best Trade Chip: Arron Afflalo 

    The Orlando Magic are in the midst of a complete teardown and rebuild, meaning prized veterans such as Arron Afflalo could be on the move this summer if the right deal comes along. 

    One potential suitor for Afflalo's services, per ESPN's Marc Stein? That would be the Charlotte Hornets, whom we previously listed as possible trade partners for a veteran centerpiece given their newfound standing in the lottery. 

    Stein has the details: 

    "The rumbles have already begun that a player Clifford is said to regard with real fondness after working with him in Orlando as an assistant -- vet floor leader Jameer Nelson -- as well as current Magic swingman Arron Afflalo will be among the Bobcats' trade targets."

    Adding Afflalo would be a savvy move for a Charlotte team that desperately needs improved perimeter spacing and shot-creating, so keep an eye on those two teams moving forward.

Philadelphia 76ers

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    Best Trade Chip: Thaddeus Young 

    The most seasoned member of a rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers club, Thaddeus Young possesses a fair bit of value at 25 years old. 

    Already seven years into his professional journey, Young is coming off of a career-best season that saw him average 17.9 points, six rebounds and 2.1 steals while shooting 45.4 percent from the floor and a shade over 30 percent from three. 

    Capable of guarding multiple positions, thanks to his combination of athleticism and elite length, Young could prove to be particularly valuable to a contender that's just a chip or two away from sneaking into the title conversation. 

    The one noteworthy hurdle is that Young has two years and close to $20 million remaining on his current deal, but teams, such as the Houston Rockets and Phoenix Suns, that value positional versatility in up-tempo systems are intriguing potential fits. 

    Return value remains a big unknown with Young, but if the Sixers could continue to stockpile future assets by dealing Young in a fair deal, it'd be one worth making.

Phoenix Suns

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    Best Trade Chip: Three first-round picks 

    In possession of three first-round picks (one of which is the last pick of the lottery), the Phoenix Suns enter the NBA draft armed with the assets necessary to shake things up in a big way. 

    Not only could the Suns parlay their picks into some prime young talent, but they could feasibly use a combination of those picks to acquire veteran talent as they continue on their quest to qualify for the postseason. 

    After shocking the basketball world by winning 48 games during a supposed rebuilding campaign, the Suns are now in prime position to compete in the Western Conference for years to come, thanks to the accelerated development of Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and friends. 

Portland Trail Blazers

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    Best Trade Chip: Mo Williams 

    Truth be told, the Portland Trail Blazers have very few realistic trade chips entering the offseason. 

    Blowing up a core comprised of LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez would be foolish after their 54-win campaign vaulted the franchise back into postseason relevancy. 

    So where can the team turn? According to Dave Deckard of Blazers Edge, the team didn't even have many options back at the February trade deadline:

    "What DO the Blazers have?  Rookie-scale contracts on high, though so-far under-performing, draft selections.  Leonard, Robinson, and/or McCollum comprise the heart, if not the entirety, of Portland's potential offer."

    And as Deckard pointed out months ago, Mo Williams (who has a player option worth $2.7 million for next season, per ShamSports.com) is likely one of the only veteran trade chips the Blazers can consider moving. 

    But after Williams so admirably backed up Lillard this season to the tune of 9.7 points and 4.3 assists per game while shooting 36.9 percent from three, it would almost seem foolish to drop the club's veteran leader of the second unit. 

Sacramento Kings

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    Best Trade Chip: No. 8 overall pick

    According to NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper, the Sacramento Kings have already put the No. 8 overall pick on the trade block in search of veteran talent. 

    And truthfully, the strategy makes sense. The Kings have been patient attempting to rebuild around DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas, but it's time for management to try and accelerate the process by making an extravagant move. 

    While prospects such as  Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh, Marcus Smart or Julius Randle would be intriguing options, the franchise can't afford to risk adding another Thomas Robinson-esque disaster early in the lottery that stunts the team's long-term growth. 

San Antonio Spurs

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    Best Trade Chip: Marco Belinelli 

    The San Antonio Spurs likely have very little interest in dismantling any part of their unprecedented core after leading the league in wins, but they do have several players entering contract years in 2014-15. 

    Among those players are three-point shooting maven Danny Green, Manu Ginobili and Jeff Ayres, but we're going to select Belinelli here. 

    With Green and Ginobili likely deal-breakers for the Spurs due to their integral place in the team's rotation, Belinelli gets the nod after averaging 11.4 points on 48.5 percent shooting (and 43 percent shooting from three) during his first season in Texas. 

    While we wouldn't recommend betting on Belinelli being dealt, the nature of his contract (one year, $2.9 million remaining, per ShamSports.com) makes him the most logical selection here.

Toronto Raptors

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    Best Trade Chip: Terrence Ross

    Terrence Ross' high-flying capabilities and long-range shooting consistency were on display throughout the regular season, and his huge ceiling figures to keep his stock trending in a positive direction entering year three in the NBA. 

    But according to the Toronto Star's Doug Smith, Ross could be the trade chip that general manager Masai Ujiri chooses to dangle this summer: 

    I don’t know specifically about Kidd-Gilchrist but I will say this: I think Ross is a chip that Masai might want to put in play over the summer and in the time leading up to the draft.

    Very skilled kid who has shown flashes but on this current Toronto roster, he’d be the one I’d see what I could get for as part of a larger package, perhaps taking back salary from the cap space in a transaction.

    A nearly 40 percent three-point shooter this past season (39.5 percent, to be exact), Ross displayed some impressive three-point shooting chops.

    However, he'll need to hone his mid-range game much more over the offseason in order to become a potent all-around scorer. During the 2013-14 season, Ross shot just 41.1 percent on shots between 10 and 16 feet and 29.7 percent on shots between 16 feet and the three-point line, per Basketball-Reference.com.

Utah Jazz

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    Best Trade Chip: Gordon Hayward in a sign-and-trade

    Like the Detroit Pistons, the Utah Jazz have a decision to make regarding a fairly high-profile restricted free agent this summer. 

    With Gordon Hayward set to garner a fair bit of interest on the open market, Utah will need to assess whether it's worth shelling out considerable dollars and a long-term commitment to a piece that's coming off of an inefficient season. 

    After a steady 2012-13, Hayward fell short in 2013-14, shooting a career-worst 41.3 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from three. 

    And while it remains unclear which direction the team wants to move in, the Boston Celtics remain an intriguing trade destination for a number of reasons, according to ESPNBoston.com

    "The Celtics also have that $10.3 million trade exception in their back pocket for potential sign-and-trade possibilities. Regardless, the Stevens-Hayward connection will leave Celtics fans dreaming of a Butler reunion in Boston."

    With emerging studs such as Alec Burks and Trey Burke in line for bigger roles next season, now could be the perfect time to cut ties with the former Butler Bulldog.

Washington Wizards

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    Best Trade Chip: Nene

    With Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza both set to hit the free-agent market in July, the Washington Wizards have few compelling trade chips at their disposal. 

    And considering John Wall and Bradley Beal are untouchable, power forward Nene earns the designation here based on his contract situation (two years, $26 million remaining) and strong postseason production. 

    While his offensive output was inconsistent in the second round, Nene's defense throughout was the best we've seen from him in the playoffs. 

    In eight trips to the postseason, Nene had never posted a defensive rating better than 103, but that all changed this season when he held opponents to 101 points per 100 possessions over the course of 10 playoff games, per Basketball-Reference.com

    Factor in his diversified offensive portfolio (he shot 46.7 percent between 16 feet and the three-point line during the regular season, per Basketball-Reference.com), and it's evident Nene boosted his stock over the course of the 2013-14 season.

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