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The Lion's Roar

The Lion's Roar

The Lion's Roar

Sugar and Spice
Sugar and Spice
February 15, 2024
Carrie
Carrie
February 15, 2024

    The All-Benefiting Ten Team Trade I Want to See at the Deadline (Redux)

    Last year, I wrote an article about a ten-team blockbuster that I’d like to see at the NBA’s trade deadline- one of my favorite days. 12 months later, it’s time to try again. 

     

    The deadline is almost here, meaning that teams are making frantic adjustments to establish a franchise-wide direction moving forward. Buyers will scoop up parts from faulting teams at the expense of young players and draft selections, while sellers will vend off moving parts for the role players of the future. At the trade deadline, teams attempt to find a remedy for woes. Here’s my proposal for a team-team trade, which mutually benefits all teams involved:

     

    It’s no secret that the Oklahoma City Thunder are among the most improved teams from last season. Led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the Thunder are ready to contend now, however, the lack of big-man depth will be an alarming imbalance that may lead to losses at the hands of Minnesota and Denver. OKC ships off three contracts (Bertans, Micic, Dieng), three first-rounders, and six second-rounders in exchange for Nic Claxton, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Saddiq Bey. While nine picks may seem like a lot for three players, the Thunder have to understand that due to the fact they own dozens of picks, business partners have an advantage by way of “driving the price up.” With this new trade, the Thunder’s rotation will look like this: Gilgeous-Alexander, Giddey, Williams, Holmgren, Claxton, Dort, Finney-Smith, Joe, and Bey.

    The New Orleans Pelicans just dealt Kira Lewis Jr in the Siakam-to-Indianapolis deal in an attempt to slide under the luxury tax line, pointing to a quiet deadline for the team. In this deal, they part ways with Naji Marshall, receiving Oshae Brissett, a pair of second-rounders, and cash considerations to remain under the line. 

    Dejounte Murray’s initial trade to the Hawks felt questionable, and it looks even worse in a season where Atlanta has staggered out to a subpar start for another consecutive season. Spoiler alert: in this deal, the Knicks make the move for the two-way piece. In exchange for Murray, as well as Saddiq Bey, Atlanta receives two first-rounders, four second-rounders, Evan Fournier’s semi-expiring contract, and Ousmane Dieng. 

    The Chicago Bulls have begrudgingly transformed into the Boston Red Sox of the NBA. With no clear direction, Chicago NEEDS to sell out at the deadline, despite a belief that a core of DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, and Zach LaVine (out for season) can achieve anything more than a first-round exit. With Joel Embiid out for Philadelphia, the 76ers need to part ways with depth in order to stay afloat and avoid the play-in tournament. In exchange for DeRozan, Alex Caruso, and Andre Drummond, Chicago gets bench pieces, Jordan Walsh, 2024 and 2030 first-round picks from Philadelphia, and half a dozen second-rounders. 

    It is time for Philadelphia to go “All In” in a way contrary to acquiring a disgruntled superstar. Tobias Harris has played a large role for the Sixers this season but is ultimately expendable as an expiring free agent. In this deal, Philadelphia obtains players from three destinations: Kelly Olynyk from Utah, Malcolm Brogdon from Portland, and DeRozan and Caruso from Chicago. For the price of Tobias Harris, Nic Batum, De’Anthony Melton, Marcus Morris, and nearly a dozen total picks, Philly establishes one of the most intriguing lineups in the league: Maxey-Caruso-Oubre-DeRozan-Embiid with a bench of Beverly, Reed, Brogdon, Covington, and Olynyk. 

    As mentioned before, the Knicks are primed for a big move with a plethora of draft picks available as disposables. It is evident that Tom Thibodeau seeks two-way players that fit his defensive scheme: a motivated Dejounte Murray fits this mold. Evan Fournier, Quentin Grimes, and two first-rounders should complete this deal as Atlanta is likely chomping at the bit to get value in return for the failed Murray experiment. 

     Utah is an interesting franchise, as the team possesses many gettable players, although most are expected to be unavailable. As Utah trudges towards a potential playoff spot, the team will likely make a minor move at the deadline. Here, they send out Kelly Olynyk, receiving a buyout player in Nic Batum, Quentin Grimes, and several second-rounders. 

    The Boston Celtics are primed for championship contention, although a title coming to Beantown rests in the balance of Kristaps Porzingis, who is known to be injury-riddled from his time in Washington and Dallas (not to mention an ACL tear in New York). Boston has no real tradable contracts, and Al Horford is a “good vibes” type of player that would be foolish to part ways with in exchange for a rental. Using the assets they have, Jordan Walsh, Luke Kornet, Oshae Brissett, and a bag of chips (five second-rounders), the Celtics obtain Andre Drummond and Naji Marshall. Boston’s offense is a well-oiled machine, however, it is wrought by defensive rebounding issues if Porzingis is unable to perform. Andre Drummond has a legacy as one of the greatest rebounders of the 2010s, and perhaps all-time, proving his mettle for the Chicago Bulls this season. The multi-time All-Star has certainly been a journeyman as of late but would be a great pickup for Boston. Naji Marshall is a talented defender with the ability to hit open jumpers and would be a stellar ninth-to-tenth man for the Celtics.  

    Brooklyn was long a bottomfeeder in the league, and all signs point to the team going in one of two directions: superstar or bottoming out. Nic Claxton is a stellar defensive player, and Dorian Finney-Smith has a reported value of two first-rounders, although the value of these picks is unknown. In dealing the pair to OKC, Brooklyn nets Davis Bertans, Vasilije Micic, three first-rounders, and a second-rounder. The team has reportedly listened to offers for Mikal Bridges, but it is unknown what the franchise’s direction is at this point. 

    Portland also has several tradable pieces, but it is unclear what the franchise plans to do at the deadline. Here, the team parts ways with Malcolm Brogdon, receiving De’Anthony Melton, Marcus Morris, the Clippers’ 2028 first-rounder, and a second-rounder. Jerami Grant and Matisse Thybulle are reportedly drawing interest from around the league, but, as stated before, it is not evident whether or not the team wants to bottom out and continue rebuilding around Scoot Henderson.

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