Deals That Should Happen Prior to the NBA Trade Deadline

NBA fans have already gotten a taste for the chaos that is the NBA Trade Deadline when the Atlanta Hawks, Houston Rockets, and Minnesota Timberwolves, and Denver Nuggets swung a massive four-team deal. Fans are hoping that isn’t the end of the fun.

Whether a team is looking to rebuild or make a deep playoff run, almost every team in the league will be looking to make a splash prior to the deadline. In the case of these five trades, the good teams get that final piece for their playoff push whereas the rebuilding ones get a head start on the next offseason.

Davis Bertans to the Orlando Magic

Washington Wizards acquire Orlando’s 2020 first-round pick and point guard D.J. Augustin

The Orlando Magic have statistically one of the best defenses in the NBA, allowing a league-lowest 104.6 points per game. However, on the flip side, the Magic’s offense ranks second-worst in the league, averaging just 103.3 points per game.

Orlando owns the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. While the team could look to rebuild with a looming first-round matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks, the Magic recently signed Nikola Vucevic and Terence Ross to extensions. Orlando is built like a playoff contender, they just need more pieces to feasibly compete. Improving the offense should be priority number one for the Magic at the deadline.

One way of doing that would be to acquire Washington Wizards’ forward Davis Bertans. Bertans is in the midst of a breakout season, averaging 15 points with 3.6 threes per game. His threes per game rank fourth in the NBA whereas his 42.9 three-point percentage ranks 10th. Simply put, Bertans has become one of the best shooters in the NBA this season.

Bertans is on a modest two-year/$14.5 million contract, meaning the Magic wouldn’t just be getting a rental. Furthermore, the Wizards would get what is projected to be the 15th overall pick in the draft.

Orlando would get a pure scorer who can slide in immediately at small forward whereas the Wizards get a pick right outside the lottery to continue their rebuild. A win-win.

Derrick Rose to the Los Angeles Lakers

Detroit Pistons acquire forward Kyle Kuzma, guards Troy Daniels & Talen Horton-Tucker, Lakers 2020 first-round pick

The Los Angeles Lakers have been on an absolute tear this season. The number one seed in the Western Conference, Los Angeles looks poised to make a deep run in the playoffs. They’ve been connected to multiple players on the trade market as they look to make one final move to bolster their chances of getting back to the Finals.

As Los Angeles looks to build, Pistons’ guard Derrick Rose should be on the top of their wish list. Rose is in the middle of a career resurgence with the Pistons, averaging 18.5 points and 5.8 assists per game. His 49.8 shooting percentage ranks first among all point guards in the league. Rose gives the Lakers a scoring threat at the point to pair with Lebron James and Anthony Davis.

For the Pistons, they have reportedly been looking for a first-round pick in the lottery for Rose. However, adding a player like Kuzma as well as a late first-rounder should entice them to deal Rose, who has just one more year left on his contract. Kuzma on the other hand is under team control until 2021-22 at a modest salary. He could be a building block for the Pistons going forward.

Kuzma is the Lakers’ only real trade chip. While he is certainly a young player with loads of talent, he has struggled this season in Los Angeles. With the team in win-now mode, adding a pure scorer in Rose boosts the team immediately.

For Detroit, a team in serious need of a rebuild, Kuzma as well as a first-rounder, albeit late in the first, should help immensely as they look to build a new era of Pistons’ basketball.

Marcus Morris to the Los Angeles Clippers

New York Knicks acquire forwards Maurice Harkless and Patrick Peterson, guard Jerome Robinson, 2021 first-round pick

Like the Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers should be looking for one last push towards the playoffs. The second seed in the West, Kawhi Leonard and company are likely looking to add one more piece in an effort to reign supreme in the West.

The New York Knicks have been interesting over the past few days; when aren’t they? They recently re-assigned Steve Mills, leaving Scott Perry as the team’s new General Manager. Perry is reportedly more open to trading forward Marcus Morris. Morris is on the last year of his contract and has averaged an impressive 19.6 points and 5.4 rebounds this season. He is shooting .442 from the field and .439 from behind the line, making 2.7 threes per game.

For Los Angeles, Morris would slide in perfectly as the team’s new starting power forward. He gives the team a proven scorer with playoff experience. A lineup featuring Leonard, Paul George and Morris should be extremely dangerous come playoff time.

For the Knicks, Harkless and Peterson are involved just to make the contracts work. However, Jerome Robinson is a former first-round pick who New York could value as a future starter. Robinson hasn’t gotten much run in his two years with the Clippers, however, he was selected 13th overall just two seasons ago, is just 22, and is under team control until 2022-23. Landing the first-round pick sweetens the deal for New York.

With a new Knicks’ brass in place, Morris is likely a goner. The Clippers want another piece for the championship puzzle and could acquire it in the 6-foot-9 forward.

Andre Drummond to the Dallas Mavericks

Detroit Pistons acquire Tim Hardaway Jr., Center Willie Cauley-Stein, 2025 first & 2020 second-round pick

The Dallas Mavericks have been one of the surprise teams this season. After receiving minimal hype this offseason, Dallas is the sixth seed in the Western Conference and is just 7.5 games back of the Lakers. With a core of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavericks are clearly a team on the rise.

Adding a player like Andre Drummond would only boost the team’s playoff potential. Drummond is averaging 17.5 points and 15.8 rebounds per game. He leads the NBA in rebounding and sits 17th with a 52.4 shooting percentage. Drummond is still one of the best big men in the league and is only 26 years old.

The problem in dealing Drummond is his contract. He is making $27 million this season and has a $28 million player option for next year. With his trade status diminishing, it seems likely that he will accept that option. However, the Mavericks sit 12th in the league in available cap space. Doncic is under team control until 2022-23 for a modest salary. The Mavs could afford to trade for a player of Drummond’s caliber.

Adding him would allow Dallas to move Porzingis to his more natural power forward position. A frontcourt of Drummond and “The Unicorn” would be one of the scariest in the league.

As for the Pistons, the team has reportedly struggled to find a team willing to offer a first-round pick for Drummond. The Mavs cannot trade their first-round pick until 2025, however, the Pistons could bite at the opportunity of getting something of value rather than watching Drummond walk for nothing or worse, accept his player option.

The Pistons get the first-round pick they desire for Drummond while the Mavs get a playmaker and elite rebounder inside to pair with Porzingis and Doncic.

Andre Iguodala to the Toronto Raptors

Memphis Grizzlies acquire guard Norman Powell, forward Patrick McCaw, 2020 first-round Pick

Andre Iguodala is perhaps the most interesting name heading into the trade deadline. He has said he is willing to sit out for the entire year if the Grizzlies don’t trade him and many current players are already calling for him to be moved. Memphis likely doesn’t want to see him walk for nothing and could still likely get a first-round pick, making him almost a lock to be traded.

Teams like the Rockets, Lakers, and Mavericks have been named as possibilities. However, in this exercise the Lakers get Rose and the Mavs get Drummond. The Rockets already acquired Robert Covington. Instead, a team that could make sense is the Toronto Raptors. Obviously a different scenario, but we saw how a late-season addition like Marc Gasol helped the team in 2019.

The Raptors are second in the Eastern Conference and have a team built for a deep playoff run. Adding Iguodala would only expedite that process. His stats haven’t been eye-catching for years, but we saw how he performs in the playoffs, winning the 2015 NBA Finals MVP.

The Grizzlies could use or flip Powell/McCaw, the first-round pick should be more than enough to get a deal done.

Iguodala would give the Raptors a veteran forward who has the playoff experience necessary to help Toronto attempt to defend their title.

The only bad part of the deal is we may not see Ja Morant vs. Iguodala.

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