With the NBA trade deadline less than a month away, endless trade rumors have begun to float around the league. Dozens of names have been linked to trades- some new, some reoccurring. Teams hovering around the border between the playoffs and a lottery pick have an important decision to make: Are we buyers or sellers? Are we all-in for this season, or do we start building towards the one that follows? Here are four hypothetical trade proposals that could benefit both/all of the teams involved:
1. Houston Adds Smith
Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris and John Jenkins to Toronto.
Andrea Bargnani, Carlos Delfino and Ed Davis to Atlanta.
Josh Smith to Houston.
If Houston is serious about making a deep playoff run and being competitive for years to come, it is vital for them to add a legitimate scoring threat down low. Smith wants out of Atlanta, and he is a perfect fit for the Rockets. Atlanta, in return, would receive a big man who will compliment Al Horford perfectly in Bargnani. Davis and Delfino help build a solid core of forwards, allowing Kyle Korver to get more minutes at the shooting guard spot. Too many players on the Hawks had been playing out of position due to gaping holes on the roster, and this issue could be fixed as a result of this trade. Finally, the Raptors must continue to rebuild. There is no point in paying Bargnani $10 million per year when the team is struggling mightily anyway. Patterson, Morris and Jenkins are three young players, all with the potential to be very good. The Raptors may have a bright future ahead of them if they are able to dump some of the large contracts off of their payroll and obtain a plethora of good, young pieces.
2. Jennings and Jefferson Swap Teams
Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova to Utah.
Al Jefferson, Jamaal Tinsley, 2013 First Round Pick (Lottery-protected in 2013, unprotected in 2014) to Milwaukee.
It has become clear that Utah will part with either of their two big men. At this point, it seems as if Al Jefferson will be the one to go, rather than Paul Millsap. Milwaukee, in dire need of a starting center, would be wise to make a strong push for the dominant big man. The Bucks have displayed a desire to move one of the their prolific-scoring guards, Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. Jennings appears to be a good fit for the Jazz, who could see their playoff hopes dwindle if they don't find a quality point guard, especially with Mo Williams expected to miss at least another month with a thumb injury. Utah is also in the market for another role player at the forward position, and a guy like Ilyasova can really make a difference. To compensate for the disparity between talent, Milwaukee would also receive Utah's first round pick in either 2013 or 2014, depending on whether or not Utah makes the playoffs.
3. Cousins Finally Leaves Sac-Town
Gerald Henderson, Bismack Biyombo, Byron Mullens and 2013 First Round Draft Pick (Top 5-protected in 2013, Top 3- protected in 2014, unprotected in 2015) to Sacramento.
DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmer Fredette to Charlotte
The bottom-line is that DeMarcus Cousins needs a change of scenery. In his brief two-and-a-half-year stint in Sacramento, Cousins has been suspended on multiple occasions for conduct detrimental to the team, and has taken part in numerous feuds with own head coaches. In fact, former Kings coach Paul Westphal was fired as a result of a dispute between him and Cousins. The Bobcats, having money to spend, can be a legitimate landing spot for the troubled star. A team based around Kemba Walker, Mike Kidd-Gilchrist and Cousins would be a formidable group. Also, Jimmer would add a dimension of three-point shooting that Charlotte currently lacks. In return, the Kings would receive two talented, young, defensive-minded big-men, as well as another wing who can provide scoring. Finally ridding of Cousins, adding these three young pieces and obtaining an extremely valuable draft pick would help to give the Kings a fresh start as they prepare to possibly relocate to Seattle.
4. Lakers Add Role Players
Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Tony Allen to Los Angeles (Lakers).
Pau Gasol to Denver.
Jodie Meeks and Evan Fournier to Memphis.
The Nuggets could really use a guy like Gasol. Not only do they lack an offensive presence down low, but they have an abundance of talented wing players, as well. This trade would give George Karl more flexibility in how he uses Kenneth Faried and also Corey Brewer. This trade makes sense for the Lakers mainly because Pau Gasol has not able to play to his full potential since the addition of Dwight Howard. Gallinari and Chandler are two dynamic wing scorers that can be used to provide a spark off the Lakers bench. Allen, on the other hand, fits what may be the Lakers biggest need: a young, quick perimeter defender. It is vital for the struggling Lakers to collect several role players if they want to get back into the playoff picture. Finally, the Grizzlies can continue to cut their payroll without having to deal star forwards Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph.
Again, these trades are only hypothetical, but each of them contain players whose names have been thrown around in trade rumors. These four deals could potentially benefit every team involved and can really shake up the rest of the NBA season.
Check out the NBA Trade Machine to explore other trade possibilities.