Every team in the NBA is going into the offseason facing some sort of weakness or question, regardless if their efforts earned them a postseason berth or not.
I will take a look at what every team can do to improve upon those weaknesses, and what sort of deal they can do to make it.
Ultimately every team looks better with a deal like the proposed one, and this makes for a scary good 2011-12 NBA season.
With all that in mind, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy!
The Atlanta Hawks are one of the more confusing teams in all of the league.
They have a nice starting lineup, but outside Jamal Crawford they don't have many options on the bench, especially with centers.
One place where they could find depth in the frontcourt is Miami, where Joel Anthony could be available for them. They may need to give up a draft pick or two, but Anthony helps them defensively and with their depth issues.
Let's face it: Ray Allen isn't going to play forever.
The Celtics are going to eventually need to build up the shooting guard position, and 25-year-old Denver mainstay J.R. Smith might be the best option.
Besides, Allen is a free agent after this season and the C's are looking to stock up for the future.
A slasher, Smith's skill will set in perfectly and he will see more playing time eventually, something that has bothered him lately in the Rockies. He could be traded for a first-rounder.
Keith Bogans isn't a starting shooting guard.
The Bulls went after O.J. Mayo around the trade deadline and unfortunately weren't able to snag him.
Chicago has an elite group of guys but they ultimately need to go out and finish the deal with a guy like Mayo. After all, the Pacers proved with their last-minute deal (that eventually fell through) that Mayo is worth just a first-rounder and a role player. The Bulls certainly have role players to offer.
Hear me out when I say that Steve Nash would be a great option in Charlotte.
If D.J. Augustin wants to be elite at the point guard position, he must learn to put the ball through the hoop, something he has only done 41 percent of the time.
Who better to learn from than the great Steve Nash?
It might only take a second-rounder and a role player to get him because of his age.
Okay, so this isn't a "deal", persay, but the Cleveland Cavaliers need to find a real replacement for LeBron James since Alonzo Gee isn't necessarily the best small forward ever.
If the Cavs don't get too lucky in the ping-pong lottery, I could see them trading up to get Derrick Williams of Arizona, who in turn could set himself up as LeBron's ultimate successor.
J.J. Hickson also might be on the move out of Cleveland, so he (and possibly a pick) would be some perfect trade bait for the Cavs to get Williams.
Mark Cuban has made it clear that he wants a piece of Ricky Rubio.
After all, he's still just 21 years of age and people are still frothing at the mouth waiting to see him play in America.
But what is he worth to the Mavs? Would they give up a guy like Tyson Chandler just to get Rubio and a second-rounder?
I think so.
The Nuggets made their big trade at midseason by swapping Carmelo Anthony for a load of young talent, and thus far Denver has gotten the better end of the trade.
What the Nuggets now need in order to establish themselves as perennial contenders is defense, and this is especially true within the frontcourt, where Kenyon Martin and Nene are the only average defenders.
I could see them making a trade for a defensive stopper like Ben Wallace. Although he is old at 36, Wallace's services would strictly be about defense, and this is exactly what the Nuggets need.
Additionally, Wallace wouldn't be worth anything more than one of Denver's worst role players.
The Pistons are in the middle of a forgettable season, and they haven't exactly had the best offensive production around the forward position.
The Mavericks have a lot of forwards to offer, and at 32 years of age Shawn Marion could be a viable option as a veteran, but what is he worth?
Perhaps Detroit will pull the trigger when they offer a guy like Tracy McGrady or Ben Gordon and a second-round pick.
It's not like the Mavs need those two, but there's no way that they keep all of their shooting guards and small forwards over this offseason.
Al Jefferson is having a quiet but good season in Salt Lake City for the Jazz, so why not bring him over to Oakland to suit up for the Warriors?
Oh, but here's the catch: Golden State would need to send Monta Ellis to Utah to make this a fair and successful trade. Additionally, the Warriors find a replacement for Monta quickly with C.J. Miles throwing his name into the trade hat as well.
Andris Biedrins clearly isn't playing well for the Warriors, and he needs to go.
How great does a starting lineup (for 2011-12) consisting of Stephen Curry, C.J. Miles, Dorrell Wright, David Lee, and Al Jefferson sound?
In all honesty, I believe the Houston Rockets should have a nice outlook for the future, and it is headed by players such as Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic, Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola and Chase Budinger.
One thing they might need, however, is to stock up at the two and three positions, and they could use some help defense in the process.
Instead of making a deal, why don't the Rockets look at drafting Alec Burks of Colorado?
He is a do-it-all player who could help Houston out in the near future.
The Indiana Pacers' biggest struggle this season lies within the fact that they don't have a reliable shooting guard.
Neither Mike Dunleavy nor Paul George have stepped up this season to become "the man."
One player Indiana might be looking at is Jason Richardson, who has never averaged less than 14 points per game in his decade-long career.
Besides, they could get him for a second-rounder and a role player like Dahntay Jones.
I really like what the Los Angeles Clippers have done in building for their future. They have a solid nucleus of guys in Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon and Mo Williams.
The thing LA's other team needs the most is a small forward. Over the past offseason they signed Ryan Gomes, who has ultimately proved he would be best served as a fresh pair of feet off the bench.
A possible option could be Washington's Josh Howard, who hasn't really found a niche in our nation's capital, but would likely get some minutes in the City of Angels.
The Los Angeles Lakers' biggest need, without a doubt, is at the point guard position.
Derek Fisher is way past his prime, and Steve Blake just isn't a starter in this league.
One thing the team might do to get a point guard is to ship Fisher and a bench player like Shannon Brown to the Trail Blazers in exchange for Andre Miller, whose game can be summed up in three words: "solid point guard."
Doesn't it seem like the Lakers have a trade looming this offseason though? I mean, they haven't done anything since getting rid of Smush Parker at the position.
Yes, O.J. Mayo is still on the roster and yes, the Bulls and Pacers both were interested in acquiring him over the trade deadline.
So what can they try to get for the troubled Mayo?
If a trade went down with Chicago, the Grizz might be able to reel off someone like Kyle Korver and another role player, like perhaps C.J. Watson.
Whatever the case, the Grizzlies should be able to find a replacement for the 6-foot-3 Mayo as the rest of the league will give up good players for him.
Where to even start with the Miami Heat?
How about that their lack of depth is killing their chances to go far this April and beyond?
The fact is that Miami needs a viable bench option or two, and I can see them being more than willing to give up draft picks and a few of their seemingly endless plethora of average centers.
One guy that stands out that would give them depth is Tayshaun Prince of the Detroit Pistons. Prince still has game, and the fact is that the Heat could use a complimentary guy for LeBron James and stop relying on Mike Miller to cover multiple positions.
The Milwaukee Bucks have signed a lot of talent in recent years in hopes of becoming a playoff team.
This season, the player they might need the most could come from the draft. Kansas' Marcus Morris could provide excellent leverage for the future, as John Salmons and Michael Redd could be out of Milwaukee, and either one might be the price to trade for Morris' (and perhaps another player's) rights.
Either way, he'd be a selection that the Bucks don't want to pass up.
As a Timberwolves fan and a spectator at over a dozen games this season (the 'Wolves have won two of these games), the one glaring weakness of this team is their lack of defensive intensity and skill in the post.
Michael Beasley, Anthony Randolph and Kevin Love are all below-average defenders, and Darko Milicic is great at times before he picks up all his fouls.
The perfect match might be Tyson Chandler of the Dallas Mavericks, a guy whose skills would be revered in Minnesota and, at 29, he might prove to actually become a veteran presence, something the 'Wolves have lacked.
Ricky Rubio has been on Mark Cuban's map, just saying.
David West's contract is up after this season. Chris Paul's is up after the following campaign.
So what are the Hornets to do with the two?
Will they both be dealt this offseason?
Whatever happens, just know that the Hornets can score some major talent if they are able to swap one or two away.
The New York Knicks have made it clear that they plan on contending within a year or two for the NBA Finals.
The thing that the Knickerbockers are most in need of at this point is a center. They can't honestly expect Jared Jeffries, a natural small forward, to continue starting at the five spot.
One guy that stands out is Marc Gasol. He is a beast on the defensive side of the floor and can chip in on offense when needed. The Knicks might need to offer a few draft picks or a pick and a guy like Jeffries to get the seven-foot Spaniard.
The New Jersey Nets surprised everyone by acquiring elite point guard Deron Williams at the trade deadline, but they had to give up their best offensive talent (Derrick Favors) in order to execute the deal.
This offseason they will be looking to build for the future, and that might mean keeping Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez to create a exceptional nucleus of players for the future.
However, Humphries might be heading out this offseason, so why not stock up with a power forward like J.J. Hickson if he decides to leave?
I could be picky here and say Thabo Sefolosha needs to go, but in all honesty he is still an above average player on the defensive side of things, so let's not mess with that chemistry.
However, the team could deal their first-round pick (which will be somewhere in the 22 and up range) to get a sharpshooting backup shooting guard like Wayne Ellington of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Ellington would likely get playing time next season, and he might flourish when he plays on a good team.
No doubt is Jason Richardson on his way out of Orlando, and this will create their biggest weakness, a lack of a shooting guard.
Earlier in the slide show I mentioned the Pacers could trade Dahntay Jones and a second-rounder to get J-Rich, but would that altogether satisfy the Magic? Probably not.
Perhaps it wouldn't, so the team might be looking to trade him to Denver in hopes of landing Arron Afflalo, and that situation might altogether become plausible. They might need to throw in a pick or two in order to successfully land Afflalo, who in turn would improve the Magic's already-solid defense.
Spencer Hawes, who has one of the NBA's worst PERs as of right now, is undoubtedly going to pack his bags and head elsewhere.
One possible destination could be Portland, where the Trail Blazers are going to need depth, understanding LaMarcus Aldridge is their prime power forward. The Sixers will have a decent shot at getting Marcus Camby or perhaps a role player like Patty Mills.
Another possible solution would be to swap Hawes for Samuel Dalambert, a guy the 76ers had on their roster for the better part of the decade.
I think Camby is the best deal for Hawes though, as he would lend his tremendous defensive skills to Philly before he settles down and retires.
The Suns' biggest weakness no longer lies in the fact that they don't have a long-term point guard, as Aaron Brooks is now the heir to Steve Nash's throne.
One thing the Suns could use now is a backup point guard for Brooks, meaning their role would increase as soon as Nash leaves town.
A guy who could do that is Mario Chalmers, who is obviously disappointed with his playing time reduced in Miami due to the Mike Bibby signing. Chalmers is an excellent defender, and could be snagged for a draft pick or two, something that would in turn provide the Heat with a good chance to improve upon their depth outside the point guard position.
I mentioned two slides ago about perhaps the Sixers dealing Spencer Hawes to the Blazers, and in reality this would help out both sides.
Portland gets a guy who can be used over the long-term since he is only 22 years old, and a guy who can produce if he wants to.
Marcus Camby and Patrick Mills are two players the 76ers might want in exchange.
The Sacramento Kings have been without solid small forward play for much of the 2010-11 season.
In order to improve upon this weakness, the Kings, who are likely on their way to Anaheim, need to find a veteran who has much experience on the defensive side of the floor.
This might be an attractive place for Shane Battier, and in exchange they might give up Marcus Thornton, but in order for that to be possible Memphis might need to give up another defensive whiz in Tony Allen.
The word is out on the Nets' Kris Humphries.
Not only is he dating Kim Kardashian, but he is also a solid power forward addtionally, and the Raptors know that, having held him as a member of the roster from 2006 to 2009.
Hump would be a solid addition for the Raptors, and in turn would eliminate the biggest weakness in Canada-- frontcourt depth.
Andrea Bargnani might be a guy that the Nets would want in return, forcing him to play a more natural power forward role.
The San Antonio Spurs have had once again another solid season under coach Gregg Poppovich.
However, the team needs to find some frontcourt depth if they want to contend in the upcoming years. Tiago Splitter and Antonio McDyess are not necessarily long-term solutions.
The team might be looking at Minnesota's Darko Milicic, who at 26 is having a solid revival season in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
In order to get Milcic, the Spurs might have to give up George Hill if they want the Serbian. Perhaps they can lure a draft pick from the Wolves since they have so many.
Ever since they traded Deron Williams in February, the Utah Jazz have been aching to acquire a new face of the franchise.
One place they might find that face is in Oakland, where Monta Ellis is taking a look around the league and wondering if he'll ever succeed.
If the Jazz sent Al Jefferson and current starter C.J. Miles to Golden State for Ellis, both teams would be rewarded-- Utah would find their franchise player while Golden State adds a much-needed center and finds a decent replacement for Ellis.
Ray Allen is perhaps the best guard in the 2011 free agent class.
There's a slight chance he'll be on the move, but if he does leave, why not head to our nation's capital?
As soon as he arrived he would become the starting shooting guard, and effectively would push Nick Young to the small forward, where he might be perhaps better accustomed.