Bold Trades for NBA Contenders: Targeting Myles Turner, Ben Simmons, More

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 29, 2022

Bold Trades for NBA Contenders: Targeting Myles Turner, Ben Simmons, More

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    AP Photo/Matt York

    NBA teams have less than a month before training camps open to make their final roster alterations, which will primarily consist of trades following a dried-up free-agent market.

    This means one last chance for teams with playoff (or championship) aspirations to add talent, much like we just saw with the Los Angeles Lakers trading for Patrick Beverley.

    The Utah Jazz have other veteran pieces who could be on the block even outside of Donovan Mitchell, while players such as John Collins, Myles Turner and others have popped up in offseason trade rumors as well.

    While they may be bold, all of the following trades should be explored by these contending teams.

John Collins Joins the Suns

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    Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

    Phoenix Suns Receive: PF John Collins

    Atlanta Hawks Receive: F Cam Johnson, PF Jae Crowder, SG Landry Shamet, 2025 second-round pick

    Simply running back the same roster that collapsed in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals seems like a letdown for Phoenix, which previously was listed as a preferred destination for Kevin Durant.

    As good as the Suns still are, upgrading the starting power forward position from Jae Crowder would make this the best starting five in basketball, especially adding a talent like Collins to a core of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton.

    Collins, 24, is under contract for the next four seasons at a reasonable $25.5 million per year and can be a valuable lob option and floor-spacer for this Suns team. He's averaged 18.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks on 55.5/38.8/81.1 percent shooting splits over the past three years in Atlanta.

    As much as Phoenix would like to keep Johnson, he's due for a new contract next summer and is two years older than Collins, despite being in the NBA for just three seasons.

    The Hawks say yes so they can continue to add defensive pieces around Trae Young, with Crowder giving them another versatile forward who can guard multiple spots and hit open threes. Johnson was the NBA's fourth-best three-point shooter last season (42.5 percent) and should thrive on drive-and-kick attempts from Young and Dejounte Murray.

    Shamet gives Atlanta a backcourt shotmaker (39.0 percent on catch-and-shoot threes) after trading Kevin Huerter earlier this summer. The Hawks also pick up another draft selection in 2025, one where they currently only own the Oklahoma City Thunder's second-rounder.

Bojan Bogdanovic Gives Miami an Upgrade at Power Forward

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    Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

    Miami Heat Receive: PF Bojan Bogdanovic

    Utah Jazz Receive: SF Duncan Robinson, C Omer Yurtseven, 2028 second-round pick

    If Miami wants to keep pace in a suddenly loaded Eastern Conference, the Heat may be forced to get some help at power forward after P.J. Tucker left for the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency.

    Bogdanovic is a big, shot-making forward who would keep the floor spread for Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry and be a good frontcourt fit next to Bam Adebayo. He's also a proven playoff performer, averaging 18.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals on 40.5 percent shooting from three over his last 21 postseason games.

    The trade for Bogdanovic, who's on an expiring $19.6 million deal, also frees up future cap space by getting Miami off Robinson's remaining four years and $74.4 million (the fourth season has an early termination option with $9.9 million guaranteed).

    A potential starting five of Lowry, Tyler Herro, Butler, Bogdanovic and Adebayo could very well finish No. 1 in the East standings again, especially with Victor Oladipo, Max Strus, Caleb Martin, Nikola Jovic, Gabe VIncent and Dewayne Dedmon coming off the bench.

    Utah can use Robinson's three-point shooting as a safety net around whatever lineup it ends up with this fall, and the career 40.6 percent marksman is five years younger than Bogdanovic.

    Yurtseven, 24, can compete for the starting center job in Utah after averaging 12.1 points, 12.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and shooting 50.8 percent in 12 starts as a rookie for the Heat last season. Adding in a future second-round pick helps build up the Jazz's growing collection as well.

Mavs Salvage Offseason with Myles Turner, T.J. McConnell

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    A.J. Mast/NBAE via Getty Images

    Dallas Mavericks Receive: C Myles Turner, PG T.J. McConnell

    Indiana Pacers Receive: 2025 first-round pick (top-five protected), 2025 second-round pick, SG Josh Green, PF Davis Bertans

    After a successful (and somewhat surprising) run to the West Finals last season, the Mavs got worse this summer with the loss of Jalen Brunson while the rest of the conference seemingly got better and/or healthier.

    A trade for Christian Wood helped bring in a new secondary scorer, but using newly signed 34-year-old JaVale McGee as the team's starting center seems like more of a Band-Aid than a long-term solution at the position.

    Turner—a 26-year-old who can continue to get better alongside Luka Doncic while becoming the anchor of a defense that was already seventh-best in the league last season—would be the perfect center for this Mavs team in a return to his home state of Texas. His floor-spacing ability gives Doncic the room he needs to operate and brings a new dynamic to the offense this team doesn't have with McGee or Dwight Powell.

    McConnell, someone who can come in off the bench to run the offense and be a pesky defender, gives the Mavs a much-needed third playmaker following the loss of Brunson.

    The Pacers continue their rebuild here by dumping a pair of veterans while continuing to add draft picks and young talent. Getting a lightly protected future first from Dallas is a great starting point, and Green, 21, gives this rotation another young guard with upside.

    Bertans is included to make the money work, but he'd actually be a useful floor-spacer and pick-and-pop option for Tyrese Haliburton to play off of. Indiana also saves $7 million this season by making this trade.

Mike Conley Jr. Makes Clippers the Title Favorites

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    Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

    Los Angeles Clippers Receive: PG Mike Conley Jr.

    Utah Jazz Receive: 2023 and 2024 second-round picks, G/F Luke Kennard, PG Reggie Jackson

    The Clippers could have two of the NBA's top-10 players this season, surrounded by what looks to be the deepest roster in basketball. Still, there are a ton of super-talented teams (Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, etc.), meaning even this may not be enough for Los Angeles to join the league's elite.

    Adding a veteran point guard like Conley in place of Jackson could make the Clippers the NBA title favorites, however.

    While Jackson's efficiency plummeted last season (43.9 percent on twos, 32.6 percent on threes), Conley is a far more reliable option, nailing 40.8 percent of his threes while finishing with a better on/off rating (plus-3.3 compared to Jackson's minus-2.9).

    Still a solid defender at age 34, Conley would be the perfect starting point guard for this Clippers team with his ability to move the ball, limit turnovers (just 1.7 a game last season) and hit open threes while John Wall gets the freedom to score and create as a sixth man.

    Utah doesn't need Jackson, but he's on an expiring $11.2 million deal that could either be bought out or used as trade bait before the deadline for point guard-needy teams. Kennard, 26, led the NBA by shooting 44.9 percent from three last season and is still young-ish enough to fit into a rebuild.

    The Jazz also get a pair of second-round picks from L.A. beginning next summer and do right by Conley by sending him to a place where he can win his first championship.

Nets End Ben Simmons Experiment

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    James Devaney/Getty Images

    Brooklyn Nets Receive: F Kyle Kuzma, F Rui Hachimura, SG Will Barton

    Washington Wizards Receive: G/F Ben Simmons

    Since Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving appear to be running it back with the Nets this season, moving Simmons for some more reliable and consistent help may be the best thing for this volatile Brooklyn chemistry experiment that could either win a championship or blow up entirely.

    The Nets need healthy, talented bodies around Durant to have a chance to win. Between back surgeries and vaccine mandates, Simmons and Irving combined to play just 29 games last season. Brooklyn can't feel comfortable rolling the dice on both to be available over the course of an 82-game regular season and hopefully long playoff run.

    Kuzma, Hachimura and Barton are all starter-caliber players the Nets can plug in around Durant and Irving, giving them a nice dose of scoring, playmaking and positional versatility.

    Kuzma is coming off the best season of his career (17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 45.2 percent shooting), Hachimura nailed 44.7 percent of his threes, and Barton (14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 36.5 percent from three) is a smart vet who can start or be a valuable sixth man. Kuzma and Hachimura also give this Nets roster some much-needed size.

    Washington can afford to take a gamble on Simmons' talent, as this team is loaded with wings and forwards yet doesn't possess any All-Stars outside of Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis.

    A starting five of Simmons, Beal, Corey Kispert, Deni Avdija and Porzingis would be the base of an intriguing team in the East, especially with Johnny Davis, Monte Morris, Daniel Gafford, Delon Wright and Taj Gibson still left to come off the bench.

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