NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Teams That Are Just One Piece Away From Contending
NBA Trade Rumors: 10 Teams That Are Just One Piece Away From Contending.
There are some NBA teams that are on the verge of being a playoff basketball team.
There are some NBA teams that are on the verge of being a championship basketball team.
In the following 10 slides, we will discuss which teams are currently just one player away from being a contender, in both respects.
Carmelo Anthony and Steve Nash's names will probably show up a bit as hypotheticals, given all the trade rumors that have been swirling about.
Will your team be on this list?
Read on and find out.
Feel free to add your two cents on anyone else that could turn into a contender with just one more player.
NBA Trade Rumors: Carmelo Could Bring a Title to Chicago.
1. Chicago Bulls
Look who the Bulls have now: Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Luol Deng, and Kyle Korver.
They aren't too hot in the shooting guard department, but that could be nixed if Carmelo came along.
Imagine a bench with Luol Deng on it, and Carmelo lighting up Chicago with Derrick Rose as his distributor.
That's a lethal combination, similar to the same mold as a Chris Paul-Carmelo pairing.
Defenders wouldn't know who to guard, not to mention the offensive boards they would undoubtedly give up.
Plus, Chicago's interior defense is so solid that unleashing Carmelo would be almost unfair.
I could see the Bulls turning into a team similar to the one the San Antonio Spurs have.
NBA Trade Rumors: Landing Carmelo Could Boost Hornets to Title.
2. New Orleans Hornets
The Hornets, already a solid playoff contender with a 16-11 record, have been getting good play out of recently-promoted Marco Belinelli at the "2" spot.
Along with good friend Chris Paul , a healthy bench of Marcus Thornton and Jarrett Jack, Emeka Okafor, and David West, adding Carmelo Anthony would create an explosive Hornets team.
I know small forward Trevor Ariza is a good hustle player and his stealing ability leads to more possessions, but I'm not really sold on him as a starting small forward.
He still shoots way too many 3-pointers (at a 27 percent clip) and he's shooting under 38 percent this year. Replacing him with Carmelo would be a great addition to the Hornets and would instantly make them a title contender.
NBA Trade Rumors: Houston Rockets Could Use Steve Nash.
3. Houston Rockets
Despite Yao Ming apparently only being an apparition, the Rockets still have a lot of talent on the floor.
Sitting one-and-a-half games behind the eight-seeded Trailblazers, the Rockets still have high-scorer Kevin Martin, and the always-dependable Luis Scola and Shane Battier.
Kyle Lowry has been better-than-advertised, but he's still not the true floor general the Rockets would need in Ming's absence.
Enter Steve Nash, a pro who would be good alongside Kevin Martin and the rest of the sturdy starting lineup.
The Rockets would skyrocket up the standings with Nash at the helm.
C'mon Nash, you know you wanna get outta Phoenix. There's nothing there but tumbleweeds now.
NBA Trade Rumors: Memphis Grizzlies Need a New Shooting Guard.
4. Memphis Grizzlies
Obviously, this O.J. Mayo-Memphis Grizzlies marriage just ain't working out.
Mayo's no doubt talented, but he hasn't gained favor in coach Lionel Hollins' system.
Enter Steve Nash, the wild-haired and wildly rumored star point guard.
You could move point guard Mike Conley to shooting guard, plug Nash right into his spot, then have Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, and the underrated Marc Gasol surrounding them.
Not a bad starting five of you ask me.
Plus, Nash's veteran leadership would undoubtedly go a long way in maturing the young Grizzlies.
NBA Trade Rumors: Milwaukee Bucks Could Use a Small Forward.
5. Milwaukee Bucks
Apparently bad teams need help at small forward.
The Bucks have Brandon Jennings, a capable shooting guard duo of John Salmons and Corey Maggette, and a good center in Andrew Bogut.
It's the "3" spot that worries me. I don't believe Chris Douglas-Roberts and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute are the answer here.
Throw good ol' Carmelo in there and that certainly sweetens the pot.
If Jennings and Carmelo could learn to work with one another, what a two-headed monster that would be.
Carmelo could get Brandon's tattoo, "Young Money," and they could be like blood brothers.
NBA Trade Rumors: Toronto Raptors Could Use a Small Forward.
6. Toronto Raptors
Sonny Weems and Leinas Kleiza just isn't gonna do it for the Toronto Raptors.
Inserting a Carmelo Anthony would do wonders, given they have a skilled point guard in Jose Calderon, are suitable at shooting guard with DeMar DeRozan and Leandro Barbosa, and they have, of course, Andrea Bargnani.
Despite being 10-18, the Raptors are only one-and-a-half game out of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Landing Carmelo would propel them past that spot and beyond.
A Carmelo-Bargnani one-two punch would be a nice jolt in the arm for a currently struggling franchise.
NBA Trade Rumors: Charlotte Bobcats Could Use a Change of Pace.
7. Charlotte Bobcats
There's no doubt the Bobcats have some talent; which is why I'm always scratching my head when I see their record.
At the moment, they're 9-17 and continuing their era of futility.
Someone needs to move: Boris Diaw, Gerald Wallace, Stephen Jackson, anybody.
This just ain't workin' out.
Bring in a Steve Nash and move D.J. Augustin over to shooting guard, or bring in Carmelo and dump Gerald Wallace (whose effort on the court has come into question), and you have yourself a playoff team.
Coach Larry Brown doesn't get along with a lot of players, but Steve Nash wouldn't be one of them.
NBA Trade Rumors: Cleveland Cavaliers Need LeBron Back.
8. Cleveland Cavaliers
When LeBron James left town, the Cleveland Cavaliers had one glaring weakness: it's called "a star player."
Despite guard Daniel Gibson playing well in LeBron's wake, Gibson isn't a star.
Neither is Anthony Parker, Anderson Varejao, Antawn Jamison, or Mo Williams.
The Cavs need a star.
Enter Carmelo Anthony.
Not only does he vastly improve the Cavs' win total and playoff chances, he also becomes the new LeBron, admired throughout the land for his amazing physical ability and playing prowess. LeBron would be an afterthought in Cleveland once Carmelo arrived.
And the Cavs, once so downtrodden, would "Rise" as a result (that's a reference to LeBron's Nike commercial).
NBA Trade Rumors: Golden State Warriors Need a Big Man.
9. Golden State Warriors
It's no surprise that the Golden State Warriors need a defensive presence, currently sitting at 9-17 despite having Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, and David Lee on their roster.
Lee isn't a top defender in the low post, and the Warriors have been trying for years to find their center of the future.
Adonal Foyle didn't work out, neither did Eric Dampier, and drafting skinny tall guys isn't going to work either.
The Warriors consistently put up big points, but they don't have an inside presence to stop anyone from scoring more than them.
Even inserting a Shaquille O'Neal or Zydrunas Ilgauskas for 20 or so minutes a game would greatly help in limiting opponents' point totals.
Hell, even Darko Milicic would work.
NBA Trade Rumors: New Jersey Nets a Playoff Contender With Carmelo
10. New Jersey Nets
As of this writing, the Nets are 8-20, in last place in the Atlantic Division.
They have a solid point guard in Devin Harris, a good center in Brook Lopez, and a sharpshooter in Anthony Morrow to spread the floor.
Enter, Carmelo Anthony, who can not only make a lot of shots to go along with his size, he will also draw an enormous amount of defenders, leaving Harris, Lopez, and Morrow open for a nice east bucket.
Small forwards Travis Outlaw and Quinton Ross are not the answer to get them over the hump.
This is a picture of Lopez getting excited about Carmelo joining the team.