NBA Trade Speculation: 5 Players That Would Thrive on a New Team
NBA players tend to move around constantly throughout their careers, and many of them have made careers being NBA journeymen. They bounce from team to team, contributing as much as they can while holding value at the same time.
Sometimes, though, you'll get players who are traded out from their team and tend to do better on a different team; whether that's because the new team's system fits better, or because they needed a change in scenery, the point is that the player performs better.
With NBA trade rumors pretty much dead—thanks to the lockout—we can still speculate about the trades that could indeed happen, and which trades would benefit the players involved rather than the teams.
Here are five players that could do extremely well on a different team, along with teams they're most likely to thrive with.
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Teams he'll most likely thrive with: Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, Portland Trailblazers, Golden State Warriors
NBA observers have pretty much given up on O.J. Mayo's potential to become a superstar. And while that's fair (his performance has been on a downhill since his rookie season, which led to a dramatic drop in minutes in 2010-11), it's also fair to say that he still has the ability to score at will, and this was shown in the Grizzlies' improbable playoff run this past postseason.
Mayo isn't going to get many minutes in Memphis with the Grizzlies unless Rudy Gay gets dealt, which is far less likelier than Mayo getting dealt.
On a team that has a solid amount of depth but little star power, such as the Pacers and Nuggets, Mayo could provide the primary scoring option that the team needs. He hasn't been too much of a ball-dominant guard, but he'll take control of the ball to allow his team to work around him.
Mayo is a legitimate scoring threat, but he's still really raw, all things considered. A team with a decent coach such as George Karl or Frank Vogel can mend Mayo and knock some discipline into him.
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Teams Granger is likely to thrive for: Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Boston Celtics
Danny Granger is sort of on the trading block, and for good reason—the Indiana Pacers are in need of a superstar, and Granger is a decent second- or third-option on a decent team. He won't take control of games, but he'll be the solid sidekick or even awesome third wheel on any title team.
It's unlikely that the Orlando Magic will take him—they have no real trading pieces outside of Dwight Howard. However, a team like the Boston Celtics or Chicago Bulls could easily use him for his ability to score on and off the ball, as well as his decent team defense.
Granger is already thriving, but he'll have his best seasons on a winning team as a second- or third-option, where there's less pressure and he won't be forced to take control of games by himself.
Teams Billups will thrive with: Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers
Chauncey Billups is like a walking glue bottle; in the previous three teams he's played for, each team has been a playoff contender, and he was a huge part in all three, acting as a wily, veteran team leader who was fearless in every aspect. Right now, Billups isn't doing much of anything with the New York Knicks, thanks to the ball-dominant nature of Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire.
The Miami Heat could obviously use a point guard, and Billups would provide the level-headedness that the Heat desperately needed against the Dallas Mavericks.
Though the Orlando Magic don't have much to offer, Billups could help anchor the team and get everyone motivated, much like he did with the Denver Nuggets in his first season there. If things work out well in Orlando, it could coerce Dwight Howard into staying past 2012.
The Philadelphia 76ers could also use Billups' veteran leadership, since the team is one of the youngest in the NBA. Plus, the team is terrible at shooting.
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Teams Wesley Matthews is most likely to thrive with: Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers
Wesley Matthews played phenomenally with the Portland Trailblazers last season. Brandon Roy took a ton of Matthews' minutes, and he even had some Blazers' fans calling for a cut in Roy's minutes becuase Matthews was playing really well.
Wesley Matthews proved to be a solid scoring option in the 33 minutes per game he was given. He shot 40 percent from downtown last season, and managed to put up nearly 16 points per contest.
Matthews would obviously thrive greatly with the Chicago Bulls, a team that is in desperate need of an off-guard to take the load off Derrick Rose. Additionally, he'll do well with the Philadelphia 76ers, who need a lot more offense than they already have, as the team ranked as one of the worst offensive units in the NBA.
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Teams Baron Davis is most likely to thrive with: Memphis Grizzlies, Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks
It's difficult to see how Baron Davis gets up in the morning. His lack of motivation is astonishing, and was shipped out of Los Angeles by the Clippers when he continuously showed he couldn't be bothered dishing out dimes for up-and-coming superstar Blake Griffin.
However, Baron Davis is remarkably good when a spark is lit.
There's no telling if we'll see the 2007 Baron Davis again, but there is no telling we won't either—a team that can get him excited to play the game again won't have to deal with three-point-shot-jacking clown who plays like garbage most of the time.
A team like the Boston Celtics could surround him with veterans like himself, while also allowing those same veterans to implement some discipline into Davis' repertoire. The Memphis Grizzlies have a lot of talent, too, and a well-coached, young team like that could get Baron Davis really excited. Additionally, the Atlanta Hawks need a veteran push if they're going to want to keep with the same roster that they have for the past 32 years, and Baron Davis wouldn't mind getting up in the morning knowing he's playing in The Highlight Factory with Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford leading the way.
If Baron Davis can find a way to roll out of bed when he needs to, he'll be a huge asset to the team who takes him.