Trade Ideas for Every NBA Team 1 Month Before 2022-23 Season

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 19, 2022

Trade Ideas for Every NBA Team 1 Month Before 2022-23 Season

0 of 22

    Russell Westbrook (Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images)

    With the Donovan Mitchell deal in the rearview, the 2022 offseason feels like it's pretty much wrapped up.

    Sure, we might still see a Russell Westbrook trade or some more unloading by the Utah Jazz, but for the most part, teams are settled and preparing for the start of training camps.

    There's a reason we don't see many trades this time of year. Recently signed contracts can't be traded and teams are curious to see how their reshaped rosters will look together.

    Still, every front office is generally open to thought experiments. And today's slideshow is packed with them.

    To come up with September trade ideas for all 30 teams, there has to be some overlap. In other words, you'll see multiple potential deals from organizations that might be after Jordan Clarkson or Buddy Hield. Just think of those as competing offers.

    In some cases, it's impossible to concoct something realistic that could be completed today. Due to various restrictions in the collective bargaining agreement, some deals can't go down till January. Such ideas were avoided as much as possible, but they couldn't be altogether.

    So, even after another summer packed with player movement, here are trade ideas for every team in the league (including multiple ideas for some squads) that would further shake things up.

Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets

1 of 22

    Michael Reaves/Getty Images

    The Deal: Clint Capela for Joe Harris and Cam Thomas


    Why Atlanta Does It...

    With Dejounte Murray and Trae Young presumably starting and playing a lot together, the more kick-out receivers they can play with, the better.

    Though injuries limited Joe Harris to just 14 games last season, he's one of the best floor-spacers in the league when healthy. Cam Thomas has some upside as a shooter, too.

    This move would, of course, impact Atlanta's depth inside, but Onyeka Okongwu is a more versatile defender than Clint Capela. And John Collins could play some minutes as a stretch 5.


    Why Brooklyn Does It...

    The Brooklyn Nets may not have a single above-average starting center on the roster. Nic Claxton and Day'Ron Sharpe both have the potential to become that, but they aren't there yet.

    And with Kevin Durant (33 years old) and Kyrie Irving (30) on the team, the Nets don't really have the luxury of long developmental runways.

    Losing Harris' shooting would hurt, but offseason additions T.J. Warren and Royce O'Neale may be able to help make up for that.

Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz

2 of 22

    Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

    The Deal: A 2023 second-round pick (via Portland) for Rudy Gay


    Why Boston Does It...

    The Boston Celtics acquired Danilo Gallinari to lighten the load on Al Horford and provide a little shooting off the bench. The torn ACL he suffered at EuroBasket will almost certainly wipe out the 2022-23 season for him, and the Celtics could suddenly use another floor-spacing big.

    Over the last five seasons, Rudy Gay has moved to the 4 (he even spent nearly a quarter of his minutes at center in 2021-22) and accepted the fact that he's a reserve. He also shot 36.0 percent from three over that span.

    If you're worried about the numbers, Boston has a trade exception that seems almost tailor-made for the acquisition of Gay's $6.2 million salary.


    Why Utah Does It...

    The Utah Jazz may be intent on landing first-round picks for each of Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson, but they certainly can't expect that kind of return for Gay, a 36-year-old with over 30,000 minutes on his legs.

    If some team is willing to part with any draft assets (and Boston should be), the Jazz should probably jump on it. That's assuming he's not part of a bigger deal involving some of his teammates.

Charlotte Hornets and San Antonio Spurs

3 of 22

    Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Deal: Mason Plumlee and a top-10 protected 2025 first-round pick for Jakob Pöltl


    Why Charlotte Does It...

    Jakob Pöltl is six years younger than Mason Plumlee and one of the game's best interior defenders.

    He's also an underrated passer (he averaged 3.5 assists per 75 possessions) who can score a little bit in the floater range.

    In short, Pöltl represents an upgrade for the Charlotte Hornets at a position of need.

    Though a first-round pick is far from nothing, it's top-10 protected, and it may be time to spend a little to build around LaMelo Ball.


    Why San Antonio Does It...

    The San Antonio Spurs officially entered the race to the bottom (for a chance to draft Victor Wembanyama) when they traded Murray for picks and a player they almost immediately bought out (Gallinari).

    Now, the presence of a difference-making veteran like Pöltl only frustrates that goal.

    San Antonio should be looking to move him and Doug McDermott. In this particular deal, the club gets a shot at more draft equity and an expiring contract it could probably buy out.

Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons

4 of 22

    Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    The Deal: Coby White and Javonte Green for Alec Burks


    Why Chicago Does It...

    Coby White is only 22 years old. He just shot 38.5 percent from three last season. There's probably some upside yet to uncover.

    But having DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic puts the Chicago Bulls in a win-now window, and Alec Burks would be a short-term upgrade.

    His wingspan is five inches longer, he's a more experienced defender and he's hit 40.1 percent of his threes over the last three seasons.

    Of course, this isn't a one-for-one deal. Javonte Green is also listed. And though he proved to be a useful rotation player last season, he's mostly here for salary-matching purposes.


    Why Detroit Does It...

    The Detroit Pistons aren't going to be good for at least a couple more years. There's value in having a veteran like Burks on a young roster like this, but probably not as much value as a 22-year-old potential heat-check guy would bring.

    White isn't as good as Burks right now, but he's five or six years shy of his prime and could develop right along with Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey as a sixth man.

Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks

5 of 22

    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    The Deal: Kevin Love for Tim Hardaway Jr., Davis Bertans and a 2026 first-round pick


    Why Cleveland Does It...

    The Cleveland Cavaliers now have three All-Stars (Darius Garland, Donovan Mitchell and Jarrett Allen) and one likely future All-Star (Evan Mobley) at four of the five spots in their starting lineup.

    What it still lacks, though, is depth on the wings. And the expiring contract of Kevin Love could help address that.

    Tim Hardaway Jr. is a better kick-out option than Isaac Okoro, Cedi Osman and Caris LeVert. While he's no lockdown perimeter defender, he's certainly more switchable than Love.

    Having Davis Bertans in the deal replaces some of what's lost with Love's departure, too. At the very least, he forces defenders to pay attention to him several feet behind the line.

    Finally, since the Cavs are the ones surrendering last season's Sixth Man of the Year runner-up, Dallas can kick in a future draft pick, which recoups a fraction of what was lost in the Mitchell trade.


    Why Dallas Does It...

    The Dallas Mavericks already got by without Hardaway for much of last season (including all of a playoff run that ended in the Western Conference Finals).

    If Love has one more campaign as good as his 2021-22 in him, he pushes the Mavericks a bit closer to title contention.

    Last season, Love was top 20 in box plus/minus, with averages of 22.7 points, 12.1 rebounds, 4.2 threes and 3.6 assists per 75 possessions.

    That per-possession average for threes ranked in the top 10, and that kind of shooting would make for a nightmarish weapon alongside Luka Doncic.

Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder

6 of 22

    Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Deal: Zeke Nnaji for Mike Muscala


    Why Denver Does It...

    At the outset of free agency, DeAndre Jordan was ostensibly signed to be Nikola Jokic's backup.

    Of course, he's 34 years old and hasn't helped a team win in half a decade. Over the last five years, his raw total plus-minus ranks 966th out of the 1,002 players who've appeared in an NBA game.

    So, at some point this season, it stands to reason that Denver might be back in the market for a reserve center (as they were when they signed DeMarcus Cousins in the middle of the 2021-22 season).

    One option could be veteran big Mike Muscala, who helps the Oklahoma City Thunder too much to stay on the floor during this asset-accumulation phase of their rebuild.

    Over the last two seasons, OKC is minus-0.3 points per 100 possessions when Muscala plays and minus-11.6 when he doesn't.

    His three-point shooting (42.9 percent last season and 37.7 in his career) and plus defense (at least recently) make him a short-term upgrade over Zeke Nnaji.


    Why Oklahoma City Does It...

    Nnaji is 10 years younger than Muscala, and he's hit 43.9 percent of his career three-point attempts.

    He doesn't have the experience of Muscala, but the Thunder certainly don't need that right now. This gives them a 21-year-old big man on the same timeline as the rest of the young core.

Golden State Warriors and Detroit Pistons

7 of 22

    Jordan Jones/Getty Images

    The Deal: James Wiseman and Ryan Rollins for Kelly Olynyk and a 2025 first-round pick


    Why Golden State Does It...

    Giving up on the No. 2 pick in the draft after just two years would be unusual, but James Wiseman was historically bad as a rookie (among the 1,197 who played at least as many minutes, Wiseman's box plus/minus ranks 1,133rd), and he missed all of his second season with an injury.

    A lot of the veterans who helped the Golden State Warriors win the title, including Nemanja Bjelica, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr. and Andre Iguodala, are now gone.

    Swapping one member of the young core for one win-now player makes sense, and Kelly Olynyk would absolutely improve the second unit.

    Over the course of his career, Olynyk's teams have been better when he's on the floor, and he's the kind of shooter and ball mover who'd instantly fit within the Warriors' scheme.

    During the last three seasons, he's averaged 16.7 points, 3.9 assists and 2.3 threes per 75 possessions.


    Why Detroit Does It...

    Speaking of unusual, a team giving up a first-round pick in the middle of a rebuild probably qualifies.

    The Detroit Pistons are already loaded with top-10 picks, though, including Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Killian Hayes and Marvin Bagley III. And the return for this pick isn't any more of a gamble than the pick itself would be.

    Yes, Wiseman has struggled to produce in the NBA, but he's a legit 7-footer who gets up and down the floor well when healthy. A potential high-end rim-runner could be exactly what Cunningham needs.

    A flier on Ryan Rollins doesn't hurt, either.

    Those two for a veteran on a different timeline and a future pick is justifiable.

Houston Rockets and Miami Heat

8 of 22

    Robert Seale/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Deal: Eric Gordon for Duncan Robinson and a lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick


    Why Houston Does It...

    If anyone's willing to give up a first-round pick for Eric Gordon, who'll be 34 in December, the rebuilding Houston Rockets will have to think about taking the deal.

    He hasn't had an above-average box plus/minus since 2017-18, and his three-point efficiency has been sporadic over the last few years.

    So, again, getting a first for him is a win, even if it means taking on the potentially dubious contract of Duncan Robinson, who's owed $19.9 million in 2025-26.

    That deal could potentially be flipped further down the line, and Robinson can offer a similar sort of veteran leadership to the rebuilding Houston Rockets.


    Why Miami Does It...

    This is a bit of a flier for the Miami Heat, who'd surely be hoping for Gordon to replicate the 41.2 three-point percentage he put up last season.

    If he did, it's not hard to see how he raises the short-term ceiling a bit more than Robinson, whose own outside shooting has steadily slid since 2019-20.

    Gordon can do a lot of the same off-ball, catch-and-shoot stuff as Robinson, but he's a sturdier defender and is more capable as a creator.

Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers

9 of 22

    Michael Hickey/Getty Images

    The Deal: Buddy Hield and Myles Turner for Russell Westbrook, a 2027 first-round pick and a 2029 first-round pick


    Why Indiana Does It...

    With or without Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, the Indiana Pacers aren't likely to be very competitive this season. Turning those two into draft assets is a win for a rebuilding team.

    Of course, the picks that the Los Angeles Lakers can offer are a ways down the road. If the Pacers can get a return that helps them sooner, they should probably think about it.

    But there doesn't seem to be much smoke on that front. If L.A. ever decides to commit two firsts to this chase, the Pacers should take them.

    Oh, and of course, Russell Westbrook is almost certainly a buyout candidate in this scenario.


    Why Los Angeles Does It...

    Recent reporting suggests L.A. is hesitant to include both the 2027 and 2029 picks in a deal for Indiana's two veterans, but they probably shouldn't be.

    Unloading Russ is probably worth at least one first. If the Lakers can also get two difference-makers for the other one, they should jump all over that.

    In this case, the two veterans presumably available from Indiana are excellent fits alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

    Hield's high-volume and high-efficiency three-point shooting would help anywhere, and Turner would allow AD to stay at the 4 without sacrificing the defensive identity that helped L.A. win the title in 2020.

Los Angeles Clippers and Charlotte Hornets

10 of 22

    Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

    The Deal: Norman Powell and Marcus Morris for Gordon Hayward


    Why Los Angeles Does It...

    This is a consolidation trade for the Los Angeles Clippers, who'd get an upgrade over Marcus Morris (assuming Gordon Hayward can stay healthy) and open up more minutes for Luke Kennard.

    Last season, Kennard was arguably better than Norman Powell, and he's three years younger. And Hayward's point forward skills would make him a better fit than Morris alongside the ball dominance of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.


    Why Charlotte Does It...

    The Charlotte Hornets lack depth on the wing, and a one-for-two trade obviously helps on that front.

    Powell and Morris are both more accustomed to playing off the ball than Hayward, too. And those are the kinds of shooters the Hornets should look to put around LaMelo Ball.

Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz

11 of 22

    Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

    The Deal: Danny Green and a lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick for Jordan Clarkson


    Why Memphis Does It...

    According to Sports Illustrated's Brett Siegel, "[Jordan] Clarkson has generated the most interest thus far with the Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors."

    With the departure of De'Anthony Melton this offseason, it's not hard to see why Memphis is among those teams.

    Clarkson is nowhere near the defender Melton is, but there's at least a spot in the guard rotation. And he could thrive as a heat-check guy surrounded by the grit on the Grizzlies roster.

    The cost is essentially just the first-round pick, which shouldn't cause too much hesitation. Memphis already has a lot of high-end talent at the top of the rotation and two incoming rookies to develop in David Roddy and Jake LaRavia.

    Danny Green, of course, is on an expiring contract and unlikely to play this season because of injury.


    Why Utah Does It...

    Clarkson is suddenly nowhere near the rest of the roster's timeline, so if the Jazz can turn him into a first-round pick, they'll probably do it.

    They already secured kings' ransoms for each of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Whatever they get for the other veterans is gravy.

Milwaukee Bucks and Utah Jazz

12 of 22

    Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Deal: Brook Lopez and a 2029 first-round pick for Jordan Clarkson


    Why Milwaukee Does It...

    The Milwaukee Bucks are another potential Clarkson suitor listed by Siegel, and it's another potential match that's easy to understand.

    Milwaukee played well over 1,000 possessions with both Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo off the floor last season, and it scored just 104.5 points per 100 possessions in those situations (a mark that ranks in the 10th percentile leaguewide).

    Clarkson's shot creation and high-volume three-point shooting could go a long way toward curing that (or at least improving the condition).

    Losing Brook Lopez—a key cog for the 2021 championship team—would hurt, but he's 34 and was limited to 13 regular-season appearances by a back injury last season. Bobby Portis, Serge Ibaka and Giannis Antetokounmpo should be able to hold down the fort at the 5.


    Why Utah Does It...

    Pretty much the same explanation as why Utah would do the Memphis deal. This gets the Jazz a first-round pick.

    Plus, Lopez's salary will come off the books next summer. Utah might even buy him out after a deal like this so he'd have a chance to join a contender and wouldn't cost the Jazz ping-pong balls in the lottery.

Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder

13 of 22

    Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Deal: Nathan Knight and a 2023 second-round pick (via New York) for Kenrich Williams

    Why Minnesota Does It...

    The Minnesota Timberwolves are one of those teams for which a realistic trade really doesn't exist right now.

    They already went all in and spent most of their trade capital on Rudy Gobert, and it's pretty difficult to find anyone who might want to take on D'Angelo Russell.

    That means a lower profile trade that can't be completed till January is the call here.

    With Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns and Naz Reid on the roster, Minnesota is set at the 5. What it could use is a little more perimeter defense, and Kenrich Williams can bring it.

    If the Wolves can secure him for a big who likely won't play this season and a second-round pick, they should do it.

    Why Oklahoma City Does It...

    OKC just extended Williams this offseason, and they can't deal him till six months have passed, but all the veterans on rebuilding teams should probably be considered generally available.

    Some other organization might be willing to offer more draft capital than a single second-round pick, but this isn't a bad starting point.

New Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets

14 of 22

    Alexander Scheuber/Getty Images

    The Deal: Jonas Valanciunas and Garrett Temple for Joe Harris, Edmond Sumner and a top-10 protected 2028 first-round pick


    Why New Orleans Does It...

    There's an awful lot of usage already accounted for between Jonas Valanciunas, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum. Adding Zion Williamson back into the mix could create a "too many cooks in the kitchen" situation.

    Swapping Valanciunas for a floor-spacer makes plenty of sense, even if Joe Harris is in his 30s and brings plenty of injury concerns. With the amount of attention Williamson is going to command inside, Harris would surely get off plenty of wide-open three-point looks.

    Edmond Sumner would also add a little depth on the wing. And a future first bolsters an already solid stockpile of picks.


    Why Brooklyn Does It...

    In the simplest terms, Brooklyn needs a center (as already detailed). And though Valanciunas wouldn't get the number of post touches he'd probably like while sharing the floor with KD and Kyrie, the ones he did get would likely be against single coverage.

    Opponents aren't likely to double JV down low with two all-time great scorers on the perimeter. That should allow him to cook for the stretches when all three play together. The Nets could also use him as a focal point in lineups without the two superstars.

    That and a little veteran help from Garrett Temple should be worth it.

New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder

15 of 22

    Jim Poorten/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Deal: Evan Fournier, Quentin Grimes, Cam Reddish, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2025 first-round pick and a 2027 first-round pick for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander


    Why New York Does It...

    The New York Knicks missed out on Donovan Mitchell, but that shouldn't stop them from shopping the package of picks and young players it was willing to give up for him.

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is younger and arguably better than Mitchell. And his size and defensive upside alone probably make him an easier potential fit alongside Jalen Brunson.

    If New York was willing to spend much of that stash of assets for Mitchell, it should be willing to do 85-90 percent of that same package (at least) to get SGA.

    Evan Fournier (mostly his salary), Quentin Grimes, Cam Reddish and three first-round picks offers an awful lot of upside, but there's no guarantee any of that develops into a consistent 20-5-5 guard with wing size.

    And considering the fact that Gilgeous-Alexander is 24, he might even get better.


    Why Oklahoma City Does It...

    HoopsHype's Michael Scotto recently poured some cold water on the idea of OKC trading SGA, and we haven't really heard that he's frustrated by being on a team in the middle of a long-term rebuild.

    You never know when things might change with a star player, though. And if Gilgeous-Alexander were to ever ask out, New York will be positioned to offer a package loaded with future assets.

    Two young wings and three shots to add more high-end talent around Josh Giddey and Chet Holmgren would be a strong consolation for losing a foundational talent.

Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers

16 of 22

    Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

    The Deal: Terrence Ross for Brandon Boston Jr.


    Why Orlando Does It...

    The Orlando Magic are another team that doesn't really have a lot of use for veterans right now, but it's hard to imagine anyone giving up a first-round pick for Terrence Ross.

    Over the last two seasons, Ross is tied for 341st out of the 382 players with at least 1,000 minutes in box plus/minus.

    If the Magic can get any value for him, they should probably take it.

    While Brandon Boston Jr., the 51st pick of the 2021 draft, is far from a surefire prospect, he's only 20 years old and almost certainly offers more long-term upside than the 31-year-old Ross.


    Why Los Angeles Does It...

    The Los Angeles Clippers are very much in a win-now moment, and they should have confidence in coach Ty Lue's ability to restore Ross to the level at which he was playing a few years ago.

    They have a $9.7 million trade exception that can make up for the gap between Ross and Boston's salaries, and if the veteran can get back to his career 36.1 three-point percentage, he could be a useful floor-spacer in lineups with the stars.

Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers

17 of 22

    Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

    The Deal: Tobias Harris, a 2028 first-round pick swap and a 2029 first-round pick for Buddy Hield


    Why Philadelphia Does It...

    The Indiana Pacers have enough cap space to absorb the difference in Tobias Harris and Buddy Hield's salaries, so this trade would drop the Philadelphia 76ers well below the luxury-tax threshold (they're currently over it).

    But you can justify this deal from a basketball standpoint, too.

    Philly has more than enough high-end scoring with Joel Embiid and James Harden. Filling out as much of the rest of the rotation as possible with shooting should be the aim (it probably is, given this offseason's moves).

    Hield is four inches shorter than Harris and probably limits the team's defensive ceiling a bit more than Harris, but he's one of the best high-volume three-point shooters in league history.

    He's tied for third all time in career threes made per game, and his career three-point percentage is a well-above-average 39.8.

    For a team on the title contenders' tier (or at least close to it), more financial flexibility and the ability to surround Harden-Embiid pick-and-rolls with the outside shooting of Hield and two more above-average floor-spacers is worth a pick swap and a way-in-the-future first.


    Why Indiana Does It...

    If the Lakers ultimately decide against including two firsts in the long-rumored Hield-Turner deal, the Pacers will probably be on the lookout for other teams that might offer them draft capital.

    Taking back Harris' contract, which pays him $37.6 million this season and $39.3 million in 2023-24, is far from ideal, but it comes off the books the summer before Tyrese Haliburton's second contract starts. And If Harris plays well enough for a team that will give him plenty of opportunities to shine, Indiana might even be able to flip him for an asset or two before his deal ends.

Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz

18 of 22

    Mattia Ozbot/Getty Images

    The Deal: Jae Crowder, Landry Shamet and a 2023 first-round pick for Bojan Bogdanovic


    Why Phoenix Does It...

    Bojan Bogdanovic doesn't bring the grit or defense that Jae Crowder does, but he's a much better shooter, and high-end floor spacing should always be a priority for Chris Paul-led teams.

    Over the last three seasons, Bogdanovic has averaged 2.7 made threes per game while shooting 39.7 percent from deep. Only five players match or exceed both marks during the same stretch.

    The potential offensive upside of lineups with Paul, Devin Booker, Bogdanovic, Cameron Johnson and Deandre Ayton is worth the loss of Crowder, 25-year-old Landry Shamet (for salary-matching purposes) and a first-round pick.


    Why Utah Does It...

    Again, Utah is in the market for picks, and the Suns can justify sending one for Bogdanovic.

    Crowder would instantly be a prime buyout candidate since he's on an expiring deal. And though Shamet is on a contract that pays him through 2025-26, it's for a very manageable (and movable) average salary of $10.6 million.

Portland Trail Blazers and New York Knicks

19 of 22

    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    The Deal: Julius Randle and a 2023 first-round pick (via Dallas) for Josh Hart and Shaedon Sharpe


    Why Portland Does It...

    This would be a bit of a gamble for the Portland Trail Blazers (hence the first-round pick from New York). Randle was a thoroughly negative player in 2021-22, who's on a long-term contract that will pay him $29.5 million in 2025-26 (assuming he picks up his player option).

    Josh Hart is a solid role player who has proved willing to help in a low-usage role, and Shaedon Sharpe offers plenty of upside as a rookie wing.

    But if Randle can rediscover the shooting and defensive commitment that made him an All-NBA player in 2020-21, he'd be a good second option behind Damian Lillard.

    Lineups with Lillard, Anfernee Simons, Jerami Grant, Randle and Jusuf Nurkic would offer plenty of offense and playmaking while giving Lillard more defense than he's had in years.


    Why New York Does It...

    Ultimately, this is about getting out of the Randle contract.

    Last season, the Knicks were minus-3.3 points per 100 possessions when he played and plus-6.1 when he didn't. And if the front office took the decision out of Tom Thibodeau's hands, he'd almost have to play Obi Toppin more.

    This isn't purely addition by subtraction, though. Hart can move the needle as part of wing-loaded lineups without demanding a ton of touches. And Sharpe, one of this summer's higher-touted prospects, offers more upside than a pick that figures to be in the 20s.

Sacramento Kings and Denver Nuggets

20 of 22

    Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Deal: Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes and a top-five protected 2023 first-round pick for Michael Porter Jr.


    Why Sacramento Does It...

    Michael Porter Jr. is a 24-year-old with superstar upside. In 2020-21, he averaged 19.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.8 threes in just 31.3 minutes while shooting 44.5 percent from deep.

    That season, at least on offense, he looked like a 6'10" Klay Thompson with room to grow on the other end. A forward duo with him and Keegan Murray would have an incredibly high ceiling, and the shooting it could provide would make life easier for De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis.

    Of course, there are serious long-term concerns when it comes to the health of MPJ's back. That, in concert with a five-year, $179.3 million contract, makes him a gamble, hence the Sacramento Kings only giving up one pick (and a protected one, at that).


    Why Denver Does It...

    This is a gamble for the Denver Nuggets, too. They're giving up the player with, by far, the highest upside in this deal.

    Really, the only reason they might entertain something like this is buyer's remorse over that massive contract. If they made him available, suitors would almost certainly be worried that there was something wrong with his back.

    Putting that aside, Harrison Barnes can replace at least some of the outgoing shooting while also bringing championship pedigree and far more defensive experience. Richaun Holmes would be a significant upgrade over DeAndre Jordan at the 5, too.

    If the Nuggets did something like this and MPJ was plagued by back problems for the foreseeable future, they'd look quite shrewd. But there's also a chance Porter hits that superstar upside.

    This one really is a roll of the dice for both sides.

Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz

21 of 22

    Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images

    The Deal: Thaddeus Young and a 2026 first-round pick for Jordan Clarkson


    Why Toronto Does It...

    We once again return to the Jordan Clarkson suitors, one of whom is reportedly the Toronto Raptors.

    For a team that already has plenty of like-sized switchable forwards and wings, giving one up to provide some scoring punch to the backcourt is fine.

    And that's exactly what Clarkson would bring.

    Toronto rightfully entrusts forwards like Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes with plenty of on-ball opportunities, but Clarkson is as good as anybody currently inhabiting that "heat check off the bench guy" role.

    The attention he can command from reserve defenses could make things easier for the rest of the Raptors' second unit.

    Like others who've been detailed here, Toronto has enough young talent to justify surrendering one first-round pick, and it has a trade exception that can make up the difference in salary between Thaddeus Young and Clarkson.


    Why Utah Does It...

    Young isn't an expiring contract, but he's only on the books for $8 million in 2023-24. At that point, he's a relatively painless buyout or the kind of salary that could easily be re-routed in another trade.

    For Utah, as has already been stated elsewhere, this would be all about that first-round pick. Right now, the front office might just be culling through offers to see which picks they think hold the most value.

Washington Wizards and New York Knicks

22 of 22

    Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    The Deal: Will Barton for Derrick Rose


    Why Washington Does It...

    Monte Morris and Delon Wright should bring more stability to the point guard position for the Washington Wizards, but neither feels like a long-term surefire answer.

    With his age and injury history, Derrick Rose wouldn't be either, but he'd at least bolster the depth at the position while bringing plenty of experience and firepower.

    Over the last four seasons, he's averaged 22.9 points and 6.5 assists per 75 possessions with a 55.3 true shooting percentage, offensive numbers that aren't too far from his MVP campaign (26.7 points and 8.2 assists per 75 possessions with a 55.0 true shooting percentage).

    Moving Will Barton—who might struggle to win minutes against Kyle Kuzma, Deni Avdija, Rui Hachimura and Corey Kispert anyway—might be worth the risk that comes with adding Rose.


    Why New York Does It...

    Similar to the explanation on the Randle deal, this trade would simply remove the option of playing Rose over Immanuel Quickley from Thibodeau.

    Barring some blockbuster deal, next season should be about fostering chemistry between Jalen Brunson and young core pieces like Toppin, Quickley, Grimes and RJ Barrett.

    Could Thibs fall into the same trap and overly rely on Barton? Sure, but he's in a position where New York is a little lighter on young talent.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.


X