The Perfect Trade Target for Every NBA Team

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2020

The Perfect Trade Target for Every NBA Team

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    Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

    As the least predictable season in NBA history nears its conclusion, it's time to start thinking about the offseason.

    Player movement likely won't measure up to the madness of 2019, but there will surely be some players finding their way to new teams.

    Free agency and the draft are the most straightforward modes of transportation, but trades are another obvious possibility.

    Between now and the start of the 2020-21 campaign, these are the targets each organization should pursue in the trade market.

Atlanta Hawks: Eric Gordon

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    The Atlanta Hawks scored 11.8 fewer points per 100 possessions when Trae Young went to the bench this season, signaling the team's clear need for more playmaking.

    One player who could help while also providing some veteran leadership to a young team is Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon.

    Gordon is coming off a dreadfully inefficient 2019-20, but he still showed flashes of explosiveness when healthy. In January, he dropped 50 on the Utah Jazz.

    He, of course, wouldn't be called on to consistently provide that level of scoring in Atlanta. Young and John Collins will still be the top two options. But having a reliable ballhandler on the floor when Young sits could push the Hawks offense closer to average (it was 26th this season).

    And with Clint Capela now on the roster, Atlanta may have a stretch 5 with whom it can entice Houston (more on that later).

Boston Celtics: Myles Turner

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    You have to get nitpicky to find weaknesses for the Boston Celtics, a team that finished the season in the top four on both offense and defense.

    The eye test takes you to their lack of size. Their starting center, Daniel Theis, stands just 6'8", but the team was still top-10 in both the frequency and efficiency of shots allowed at the rim.

    Still, it isn't difficult to imagine modest jumps into the top five for each category with a bona fide rim protector in the middle of all those positionless wings. 

    If Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward were funneling perimeter drivers toward Myles Turner, Boston's defense could be even more daunting. Turner's ability to pull bigs out of the paint on the other end would also open up driving lanes for those scorers.

    The problem, of course, is what it would take to get Turner. Marcus Smart's deal is plenty tradable, but he's been the emotional fulcrum of the team for years.

    Hayward is another possibility, but then salary matching becomes a bit trickier, and one of Boston's biggest strengths is its ability to play largely positionless basketball.

Brooklyn Nets: Jrue Holiday

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    After Kyrie Irving called the Brooklyn Nets' team needs "glaring" in January, it started to feel like many of his teammates were playing on borrowed time.

    Brooklyn has a superstar duo with Irving and Kevin Durant, but those comments may have been a suggestion that the team needs a third star (or, at the very least, a near star).

    New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday could be a seamless fit.

    As a third option, he'd take some attention away from KD and Kyrie while getting more open shots than he's had in years. Defensively, he'd spare Irving from difficult matchups.

    Playing him alongside Kyrie might make the backcourt a bit undersized, but Holiday plays much bigger than his 6'3" frame.

    If New Orleans leans more fully into a youth movement with Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, Brooklyn should call about Jrue.

Charlotte Hornets: DeMar DeRozan

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    Nell Redmond/Associated Press

    The Charlotte Hornets were 27th in points per 100 possessions this season. Each of their top five in total field-goal attempts posted a below-average effective field-goal percentage. If they want to get back to playoff contention, they need an offensive weapon who'll divert attention away from Devonte' Graham.

    And if the San Antonio Spurs discover the philosophy of rebuilding, their leading scorer would make for an intriguing trade target for the Hornets.

    DeMar DeRozan has to pick up his $27.7 million player option for the 2020-21 season to be eligible for a trade, but if he does, his mid-range shot and expanding playmaking repertoire would surely boost Charlotte's offense.

    The problem, of course, is on the other end. Because of his struggles on defense, DeRozan's teams have had worse net ratings with him on the floor in 10 of his 11 seasons.

    For a team that was as bad as the Hornets on offense, he's worth the gamble.

Chicago Bulls: Chris Paul

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    The Chicago Bulls will enter 2020-21 with a new head coach (Billy Donovan) and a new front office (led by Arturas Karnisovas). If they want to fast-track a return to the postseason, they might want to add a new point guard, too.

    Taking on Chris Paul's deal is risky. He's owed $41.4 million next season and has a $44.2 million player option for 2021-22. But despite his advancing age (he turned 35 in May), CP3 proved he still has plenty in the tank with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Pairing him with Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen would give the Bulls an intriguing, modern attack that could look similar to the one Donovan just engineered for OKC. When Paul was on the floor this season, the Thunder scored 115.8 points per 100 possessions (92nd percentile).

    Logistically, landing him wouldn't be terribly difficult for Chicago, either. Otto Porter Jr.'s expiring contract (assuming he picks up his $28.5 million option) just about gets there money-wise. If the Bulls are willing to part with a pick or two, the Thunder would have to think about taking the deal.

    This would certainly impact Chicago's financial flexibility for the next two seasons, but the potential boost to the organization's short-term stability would be worth it for the new regime.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Draft Picks

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    The Cleveland Cavaliers have at least one intriguing building block in Collin Sexton. The jury is out on every teammate around his age.

    So, the name of the game is finding young talent that will supplement Sexton, an undersized (6'1") scoring guard who only averages 3.0 assists for his career.

    The best way to do that, of course, is through the draft. Cleveland has this year's No. 5 pick, but this draft is short on franchise-changers. Finding one with the fifth pick could prove difficult.

    If the Cavs can add any picks, even second-rounders, by moving Kevin Love, Andre Drummond (who was salary-dumped to them in February) or Larry Nance Jr., they probably should.

Dallas Mavericks: Victor Oladipo

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Dallas Mavericks have a 21-year-old perennial MVP candidate in Luka Doncic, who finished fourth in the voting this season.

    Their No. 2 option, Kristaps Porzingis, looked like a perfect match once he got his legs under him following his recovery from a torn ACL. From Feb. 1 to the end of the season, he averaged 26.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks.

    Finding one more star could catapult this team to the tier of legitimate title contenders, and the Indiana Pacers could make one available. 

    "I bet they trade [Victor Oladipo]," an Eastern Conference executive told Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus.

    Assuming he's healthy, Oladipo would be a nice fit alongside Doncic and Porzingis. Tim Hardaway Jr. had a great season as a catch-and-shoot option out of Luka's drives, but Oladipo is a two-time All-Star who could raise the ceiling, particularly on defense.

    The Mavs are light on draft picks following their trade for Porzingis, but that shouldn't prevent them from at least making an offer.

Denver Nuggets: Bradley Beal

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Depending on how the postseason plays out, the Denver Nuggets may look at their roster this offseason and opt to stand pat.

    Nikola Jokic is just 25 years old, and Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are both younger than him. They're already in the conference finals with one of the best young cores in the league.

    If the Los Angeles Lakers upend them ahead of the Finals and they want to speed up the timeline a bit, Bradley Beal remains an interesting target.

    Beal and the Washington Wizards have both repeatedly stated their desire to stay together, but a foundation built with MPJ, Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant would give Washington a bright future.

    Of course, it'd take much more than Porter to convince the Wizards. Picks, salary-matching contracts and possibly another youngster would likely be involved. Even then, Washington would probably be hesitant to trade a player in his prime who just averaged over 30 points per game.

    If things sour at all between the star and the organization, Denver would be wise to explore the possibility.

Detroit Pistons: Nicolas Batum

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Nicolas Batum?

    Yes, this particular slide may be a bit confusing at first glance, but what it comes down to is the fact that Batum will be on an expiring contract in 2020-21 (assuming he picks up his $27.1 million player option).

    The Detroit Pistons need to dive headfirst into a full-blown rebuild. They already signaled an intent to do that with the Andre Drummond trade. If they can now unload Blake Griffin and the $75.6 million he's owed over the next two seasons, they'll have some of the cleanest books in the NBA.

    Griffin's injuries make him a risky target for any team, including the offense-deprived Charlotte Hornets, but they may be one squad that could talk itself into those remaining years.

    Devonte' Graham and a healthy Griffin would make for a solid one-two punch on offense. And in the East, teams are seemingly never more than one player away from playoff contention.

    For Detroit, this move would give it a blank slate following the 2020-21 season. After years of toiling in mediocrity, a fresh start is exactly what the Pistons need.

Golden State Warriors: Aaron Gordon

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    The Golden State Warriors have the No. 2 pick and Andrew Wiggins' massive salary ($29.5 million) to work with in the trade market, and some interesting names might be gettable with a package built around those two assets.

    They've already been connected to Jrue Holiday, who would slide in nicely at the 2 while bumping Klay Thompson to small forward. Sacrificing that kind of size (Holiday is four inches shorter than Wiggins) could be a problem, though.

    The bigger (in a literal sense) target would be Aaron Gordon.

    The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported "a little smoke on the Warriors and Gordon front" in August, and the idea of a so-called "death lineup" with him and Draymond Green at the 4 and 5 is tantalizing.

    There's a way Golden State can pull off the trade without moving Wiggins, too. As explained by Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley, creatively using the trade exception from the Andre Iguodala deal could result in a five-man unit of Stephen Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Green and Gordon.

    That group would be switchy on defense, fast and loaded with playmaking.

Houston Rockets: Dewayne Dedmon

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    John Amis/Associated Press

    Micro-ball went down in a not-so-glorious blaze against the Los Angeles Lakers in a five-game second-round series for the Houston Rockets.

    In terms of efficiency, Russell Westbrook had another disastrous postseason with 17.9 points per game, a 42.1 field-goal percentage and a 24.2 three-point percentage. For his career, his playoff shooting percentages are now 41.1 and 29.8, respectively.

    If there was a team willing to take on the rest of his gargantuan contract, Houston would probably have to seriously consider it.

    Smaller moves feel more likely, though, and the Atlanta Hawks have a center who could help with rebounding and rim protection without clogging the paint on the other end.

    As much as Westbrook struggled in the postseason, it did look like the Rockets had found the key to some efficiency for him during the regular season: Keep the paint wide open and let him attack, attack, attack.

    For his career, Dewayne Dedmon has averaged 12.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per 75 possessions. And in 2018-19, he shot 38.2 percent from three and took nearly half his shots from there.

    A more traditional big on defense who can still space the floor on the other end seems ideal for this roster, and a straight-up swap of Dedmon and Eric Gordon works under the current collective bargaining agreement.

Indiana Pacers: Gordon Hayward

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    This season, the Indiana Pacers were plus-2.5 points per 100 possessions when Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis shared the floor. They were plus-6.0 points per 100 possessions when Sabonis played without Turner.

    Splitting up that two-center lineup might make sense, and as detailed earlier, the Boston Celtics would be a logical destination for Turner.

    What's more, Indiana would have to include additional salary to make such a deal work, and Jeremy Lamb could offset the loss of positional versatility if the Celtics moved Gordon Hayward.

    For the Pacers, a potential lineup of Malcolm Brogdon, Oladipo, T.J. Warren, Hayward and Sabonis would have loads of potential. There's switchability on defense and playmaking at all five positions.

    Losing two rotation players for Hayward would hurt the team's depth, but he's a former All-Star with ties to Indiana and a team-first game that would fit seamlessly.

Los Angeles Clippers: Rudy Gay

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    The logistics on this one aren't easy (and if the Los Angeles Clippers leap into the luxury tax by re-signing Marcus Morris Sr., it may not be necessary), but Rudy Gay would fit well as a stretch 4 alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

    Over the last two seasons, Gay tops Morris in box plus/minus, true shooting percentage, rebounding percentage, assist percentage, block percentage and steal percentage. He could provide value similar to Morris' as a catch-and-shoot option while bringing plenty more to other facets of the game.

    The problem, again, is what it would take to land him. The Clippers won't have any cap space, so they can't absorb Gay's $14 million contract, and their closest player in terms of salary is Patrick Beverley, who has been the heart and soul of the defense.

    NBA front offices are creative, though. If there's a way to upgrade the Morris minutes, L.A. should look into it. 

Los Angeles Lakers: Derrick Rose

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    Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

    Derrick Rose never quite made it back to MVP form, but at least in terms of offense, he was close in 2019-20. His numbers for the Detroit Pistons were eerily similar to the ones he put up in 2010-11.

    • 2010-11: 26.7 points, 8.2 assists, 1.7 threes per 75 possessions, 55.0 true shooting percentage
    • 2019-20: 25.7 points, 7.9 assists, 1.3 threes per 75 possessions, 55.5 true shooting percentage

    That kind of performance, along with his $7.7 million salary, should have been more than enough for Rose to play himself into coveted status on the trade market. Every contender should have the assets necessary to match that money and acquire one of the league's most explosive backup point guards.

    That's true of the Los Angeles Lakers, whose net rating fell off a cliff when LeBron James left the floor this season.

    That dropoff had more to do with defense than offense, but having a reliable playmaker on the floor when LeBron sits would bring more balance to a bench that needs it.

Memphis Grizzlies: Gordon Hayward

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    As previously indicated, any speculation surrounding the Boston Celtics depends on whether they think they have any glaring needs. If that's the determination, center seems like the place to start, and the Memphis Grizzlies are another team that could help them on that front.

    Jonas Valanciunas was a prime reason the Grizzlies threatened for a playoff spot this season. He averaged 19.8 points, 15.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per 75 possessions with a 63.1 true shooting percentage. Memphis' net rating was 2.1 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor.

    His bruising interior game could provide a nice balance to the perimeter threats provided by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker. And though he was critically important to the Grizzlies' success this season, pivoting to a Brandon Clarke-Jaren Jackson Jr. frontcourt might make more long-term sense.

    If Valanciunas, salary filler and perhaps some draft compensation is enough to entice Boston, Gordon Hayward would make for a nice glue guy in a lineup between those bigs and rising star Ja Morant.

Miami Heat: Kyle Lowry

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Any trade pursuits made by the Miami Heat will likely be undertaken with an important caveat in mind: We must preserve our 2021 cap space.

    As the roster stands now, Miami will have the necessary cap space to make a run at Giannis Antetokounmpo that summer. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have opt-out clauses that could put them in that class, as well.

    Adding any of those stars to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who'll enter restricted free agency that summer, would make the Heat one of the game's scariest teams.

    But this squad has already proved itself a contender without that extra star. If it doesn't win the title this season but wants to remain in the picture for the 2021 Finals, an expiring contract like Kyle Lowry's might be perfect.

    The Toronto Raptors could easily shift toward a rebuild with Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Norman Powell and Fred VanVleet, and supplementing that with whatever assets they can procure from moving Lowry would help.

    With Goran Dragic entering free agency this offseason, Miami might be just the team to offer those assets. The Heat will need a point guard, and Lowry fits the mold. He's exactly the type of smart and competitive player who Butler and the Miami culture covet.

Milwaukee Bucks: Chris Paul

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Shortly after the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated in five games by the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs, two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo met with team brass to discuss the future.

    "[Governor Marc] Lasry, Antetokounmpo and his agent, Alex Saratsis, discussed the Bucks' season and disappointing finish and brainstormed on some personnel upgrades that could be available to the franchise in the offseason," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski wrote.

    Shortly before that, the New York Times Marc Stein tweeted, "There are rival teams that believe Milwaukee will explore trading for Chris Paul."

    Again, Paul proved in 2019-20 that he has plenty left to give a title contender, and in the two seasons before this one, he showed an ability to coexist with a ball-dominant teammate while playing alongside James Harden on the Houston Rockets.

    Despite his age, Paul would undoubtedly be an upgrade over his former backup, Eric Bledsoe. This is exactly the kind of win-now move Milwaukee might need to make ahead of Giannis' 2021 free agency.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Aaron Gordon

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    A torn ACL in the bubble for Jonathan Isaac may have shifted the Orlando Magic's thinking a bit, but they were reportedly interested in trading Aaron Gordon in February.

    "They were really trying to deal him before the deadline, but they weren't getting the assets back they wanted," an Eastern Conference executive told Forbes' Sean Deveney. "It will be easier to move that contract when it's only got two years left. He's probably the most likely big name to be traded. He's a good gamble—he is only 24."

    Adding that now-25-year-old forward to a young core that already includes Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell would brighten the future of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

    Gordon's athleticism and ability to slash would make him an intriguing flanker for Russell-Towns pick-and-rolls. If defenses are intent on blowing up the primary action, cuts to the rim could be open.

    On the other end, Gordon has the potential to be the kind of multipositional defender teams crave these days. And with a top two as averse to defense as this one, you need all the defensive potential you can get.

New Orleans Pelicans: Caris LeVert

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    If the New Orleans Pelicans make Jrue Holiday available, there will be plenty of suitors around the league. The Brooklyn Nets may have the most intriguing young(ish) player to offer in return.

    Caris LeVert is already 26, but he's certainly closer to the timeline of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball than Holiday (30). He also showed flashes of explosiveness with Brooklyn this season.

    LeVert scored at least 37 points three times in 2019-20, including a 51-point outburst in March. His ability to space the floor (36.4 percent from three) and create for others (4.4 assists in under 30 minutes per game) would make him a solid addition to the Pelicans offense.

    The question would be the same one he'd face if he remains with the Nets: How well can he adjust to an off-ball role? Whether in Brooklyn or New Orleans, LeVert will be a bit lower in the offensive pecking order than he was on those big scoring nights.

New York Knicks: Chris Paul

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The New York Knicks are another team that could talk itself into paying the rest of Chris Paul's contract.

    Over the last 20 seasons, the Knicks are dead last in combined winning percentage. They haven't had an All-Star guard since 2001, and their most recent top-five pick, RJ Barrett, finished 27th among 33 qualified rookies in box plus/minus this season.

    This is an organization that needs a heavy dose of stability. New head coach Tom Thibodeau will try to provide that, and it wouldn't hurt to add a future Hall of Fame point guard.

    Paul could have a similar impact on the Knicks as he did on the Oklahoma City Thunder. He'd bring instant viability to the offense, and he could help with the development of players like Barrett and Frank Ntilikina (or whoever is left after a trade) like he did with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

    Without another big name or a massive leap from one of the younger players, adding Paul wouldn't make the Knicks contenders, but it could restore some respectability.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Draft Picks

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    Kyle Phillips/Associated Press

    Even with a pandemic-shortened schedule, the Oklahoma City Thunder obliterated their preseason over/under of 31 wins.

    Still, the 2019-20 campaign always felt like something of a stopgap. Russell Westbrook was the last vestige of an era that started back when he and Kevin Durant were drafted in 2008 and 2007, respectively. Once he and Paul George were traded, a full-scale rebuild felt inevitable.

    With the help of those two deals, the Thunder ended the 2019 offseason with a staggering 10 first-round picks or pick swaps incoming from other teams. Plus, they landed Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who just averaged 19.0 points in his age-21 season.

    With Chris Paul back in the rumor mill and Danilo Gallinari entering free agency, the future seems to be squarely in the hands of SGA, and OKC's goal should be building a roster that makes sense around him.

    That means more additions to the aforementioned stockpile of picks. If any teams out there are willing to part with draft considerations for Paul or Steven Adams, the Thunder should go for it.

    Eventually, they may be in a position in which they can package some of those assets to move up in a particular draft or land a star. OKC has given itself immense flexibility.

Orlando Magic: Spencer Dinwiddie

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Back in November, The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor wrote that the Orlando Magic were "scouring the trade market for scoring help."

    They never got it and finished the season 20th in points per 100 possessions.

    One player who might be able to help in 2020-21 is Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie.

    If Brooklyn looks to shake things up ahead of Kevin Durant's debut for the team, Dinwiddie's contract is one of the team's most tradable. And beyond the 20.6 points he averaged this season, his offensive rating swing ranked in the 96th percentile.

    Because of his size (6'5") Dinwiddie could fit in a variety of configurations in Orlando. He and Markelle Fultz could be the faces of a mostly positionless backcourt that allows for attacks from various angles, and a two-man game between Dinwiddie and Nikola Vucevic would likely have more pop than similar sets with the Magic's current stable of guards.

Philadelphia 76ers: Buddy Hield

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    Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

    Buddy Hield's move to a reserve role seemed to help the Sacramento Kings, but it certainly didn't sit well with him.

    According to The Athletic's Jason Jones and Sam Amick, "Hield was frustrated and sources said he would consider asking to be traded this offseason after he was moved to the role of sixth man under [head coach Luke] Walton."

    If Hield is indeed available, the Philadelphia 76ers, who desperately need shooting, better come calling.

    During JJ Redick's time with the Sixers, they were plus-14.4 points per 100 possessions when he shared the floor with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. In 2019-20, Philadelphia was plus-0.7 points per 100 possessions when Simmons and Embiid shared the floor.

    Because neither star is a floor-spacer (Simmons flat-out refuses to even try), having at least one high-level volume shooter is almost a requirement. Hield certainly fits the bill.

    Over the course of the Oklahoma product's career, Stephen Curry is the only player in the league who exceeds Hield's marks for three-point attempts and three-point percentage. Having him on the floor would divert attention from Simmons and Embiid, opening things up for both in the middle of the floor.

    The key is whether Sacramento would still have any interest in Al Horford. Under a different front office, the team was prepared to offer a "massive" deal to the veteran center.

Phoenix Suns: Trey Lyles

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Strange as it may sound for a team that hasn't made the playoffs since 2010, the Phoenix Suns are another organization that could probably sell the idea of standing pat this offseason.

    They had an absurd 8-0 run in the bubble that almost secured the eighth seed in the West. Devin Booker averaged 30.5 points, 6.0 assists and 1.9 threes during that stretch. Over the course of the whole season, Phoenix was plus-7.6 points per 100 possessions (91st percentile) when he shared the floor with Ricky Rubio and Deandre Ayton.

    If those three stay healthy and the team coaxes a little development out of Mikal Bridges and Kelly Oubre Jr., there's reason to believe the Suns could be in the playoffs as early as 2021.

    Drastic moves may not be in order.

    Instead, Phoenix could scan the league for lottery talents who just haven't been able to find their niche yet. Trey Lyles might be such a player.

    In theory, Lyles is a stretch 4 who can attack a bit off the dribble and guard multiple positions. He never quite lived up to that with the Utah Jazz or Denver Nuggets, and though he was a starter for most of 2019-20 with the San Antonio Spurs, he may not be a sure thing there, either. San Antonio is on the verge of a rebuild, and there can't be many untouchable players there.

    He'd have to work his way into the Suns rotation, but his shooting (at least in alternating years) could create space around Booker-Ayton pick-and-rolls.

Portland Trail Blazers: Ben Simmons

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Despite almost constant chatter from the media and fans regarding the fit between Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers have given no indication they'd seriously consider moving either.

    Things can change quickly in the NBA, though. And if Simmons were to become available, the Portland Trail Blazers should call up and see if Philadelphia has any interest in CJ McCollum.

    In terms of raw talent, long-term potential (Simmons is five years younger) and size, McCollum would likely be a bit of a downgrade for the Sixers, but the fit could neutralize all of that.

    McCollum has averaged over 20 points per game in each of his last five seasons, operating largely in the mid-range and from beyond the three-point line. He's a more natural No. 2 in a one-two punch with Embiid, who does most of his damage inside.

    Pick-and-rolls with those two would be a nightmare to defend. Load up on Embiid's roll and McCollum will light you up from the outside. Switch or go over the top of the screen and you leave yourself exposed to Embiid's interior scoring.

    On paper, it makes a lot of sense.

    For Portland, this would purely be a talent play. Simmons' refusal to shoot jumpers would cause problems similar to those he has faced in Philadelphia, but the presence of Damian Lillard would certainly alleviate them.

    Think of him as a bigger, more athletic Draymond Green to Lillard's Stephen Curry. The level of playmaking Simmons could provide at the 4 would open things up for everyone else on the floor.

    And with Jusuf Nurkic slowly expanding his game to include threes, there would be plenty of opportunities for Simmons to attack an open lane.

Sacramento Kings: Victor Oladipo

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Sacramento Kings have a couple of players on contracts that would match up fairly well with Victor Oladipo's: Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes.

    The disgruntled Hield would almost certainly return to a starter's role with the Indiana Pacers, where he'd provide spacing for Malcolm Brogdon's drives and Domantas Sabonis' work out of the post.

    Barnes, meanwhile, might fill a similar role (albeit less effectively) to the one discussed for Gordon Hayward in the Pacers slide: a small-ball 4 who provides a little switchability alongside T.J. Warren.

    If Oladipo wants out, both routes have their pros and cons for Indiana.

    Assuming he's healthy, Oladipo would almost certainly raise Sacramento's ceiling. He and De'Aaron Fox would make for a dynamic, slashing backcourt, and a healthy Oladipo is undoubtedly an upgrade over Hield on the defensive end.

    His contract expiring after next season might be a bit of a concern. It's tough to predict Sacramento's ability to retain him in free agency. But with the Kings in the hunt for a playoff spot at the end of each of the last two seasons, you couldn't blame them for pushing their chips in for 2020-21.

San Antonio Spurs: Aaron Gordon

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    If the Orlando Magic are indeed in the market for scoring help, DeMar DeRozan is a player who can certainly help.

    Despite his aversion to threes, DeRozan posted an above-average effective field-goal percentage this season, and only seven players averaged at least as many points (22.1) and had a higher true shooting percentage. Replacing Aaron Gordon with that kind of scoring would almost certainly boost the team's offensive numbers.

    For the San Antonio Spurs, Gordon (25) would be a multipositional forward who is much closer to the developmental timelines of Dejounte Murray (24), Derrick White (26) and Lonnie Walker IV (21).

    And if any coaching staff can draw out his defensive potential, it's likely San Antonio's.

Toronto Raptors: RJ Barrett

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    If the Toronto Raptors opt to lean further into a fresh start with Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby and Norman Powell, letting free agents like Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka walk makes sense. Shopping Kyle Lowry might be in order, too.

    There would likely be a number of teams around the league with interest in the veteran point guard with multiple All-Star appearances and championship experience. Finding the one that can offer the most intriguing prospect might be the goal.

    If the New York Knicks are looking to speed up their process under new head coach Tom Thibodeau, a new point guard would likely be an early order of business. Lowry would be a solid option if they can't land Chris Paul.

    If the return for him included RJ Barrett, the Raptors would have reason to bring him home to Canada.

    As previously noted, Barrett's production in 2019-20 put him near the bottom of the rookie class, but his size and theoretical playmaking ability are still enticing. Few teams in the league boast as strong a reputation for player development as Toronto.

Utah Jazz: Kevin Love

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Kevin Love quietly had a solid bounce-back season for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2019-20. He averaged 20.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.0 threes per 75 possessions while posting a 59.9 true shooting percentage and a positive net rating swing.

    He may not be the superstar he was before joining the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, but he showed he can still be a difference-maker, particularly on offense.

    And the Utah Jazz would be an interesting landing spot for the veteran forward.

    Donovan Mitchell has shown he's ready to be the team's full-time point guard, and that means Mike Conley's expiring contract should be available. Swapping him for Love would open up flexibility for Cleveland and potentially shift several players down a spot for Utah.

    A lineup of Mitchell, Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanovic, Love and Rudy Gobert would have immense offensive upside. And if there's a center in the league who can cover for Love's defensive shortcomings, it's Gobert.

Washington Wizards: Salary-Matching Knicks

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    Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

    Through no fault of the individual player, the Washington Wizards have one of the game's most burdensome contracts. 

    Thanks to injuries, John Wall has played in just 73 games over the last three seasons, and he's owed $131.5 million over the next three. Even if he can get back on the court, there's no way to know what he'll look like after returning from a ruptured Achilles.

    If the Wizards can find anyone who's willing to take that risk for them, they should probably oblige.

    The New York Knicks are one team that may be desperate enough to make a splash in the trade market, assuming they miss out on some of the other possibilities already detailed.

    New York has plenty of salary-matching contracts it can combine to get to Wall's money. For example, the deals for Julius Randle and Bobby Portis would satisfy the CBA. At that point, it'd be about adding little pieces going either direction to make it worthwhile.

    And even if any of those Knicks are only Wizards for a year, the contribution of opening up that long-term flexibility would likely make them worthwhile acquisitions.


    All stats, unless otherwise indicated, courtesy of, Stathead, Basketball Reference or Cleaning the Glass.