The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching and the Warriors are the heavy favorites to repeat as champions. There are a lot of teams that are one or two players away from being able to contend with the Warriors over a seven game series. All trades scenarios here work financially with players contracts and team salary caps. Here are five trades for the East and West that would give teams a better chance at winning the NBA Finals.
1. Cleveland trades with Atlanta
Cleveland Gets: Kyle Korver and Lamar Patterson
Atlanta Gets: Iman Shumpert
The Cavaliers need someone to spread the floor to knock down shots when Lebron attacks the rim. J.R. Smith is better at creating a shot and Kyle Korver would give the Cavaliers a sharpshooter that could be deadly. Atlanta needs a lockdown defender that can guard their opponent’s best player and Iman Shumpert could focus on his defense while Al Horford, Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap do the scoring.
2. Toronto, Brooklyn, and Orlando trade
Toronto Gets: Brook Lopez
Brooklyn Gets: Tobias Harris and Terrance Ross
Orlando Gets: Cory Joesph, Jonas Valanciunas, Willie Reed and Toronto’s 2016 First Round Pick
The Raptors need an inside presence and Brook Lopez would be a great fit with the team. He can block shots and is capable of stretching the offense. It would make them a serious threat in the East as a team to make it to the finals. Brooklyn has been rumored to be getting rid of Lopez for a few years now and they could get some good young players for Lopez in this trade. Orlando is in the hunt for the 8 seed but need some experience to go with their youth and this trade would help them get a little bit older.
3. Boston trades with Denver
Boston Gets: Kenneth Faried
Denver Gets: David Lee and Celtics first round pick (via Minnesota)
Faried is the perfect type of player for Boston. He is tough and gritty and would be a valuable asset for a deep playoff run. Denver is rebuilding so a first round pick is more valuable than Faried’s contract. This isn’t a huge blockbuster trade but would make sense.
4. Chicago trades with New York
Chicago Gets: Carmelo Anthony
New York Gets: Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, Doug McDermott, Kirk Hinrich & Chiciago’s 2017 First Round Pick
Melo’s cristism stems from not winning a title. Teaming him with Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol and Derrick Rose would give him the best chance of his career to win. Imagine a playoff series with Chicago and Cleveland with this trade. There would only be one word to describe it. EPIC. This trade allows New York to get a few assets and another pick for their rebuild.
5. Miami, Atlanta, and Memphis trade
Miami Gets: Al Horford and Mike Conley
Atlanta Get: Goran Drogic, Beno Udrih, Joran Adams and Hassan Whiteside
Memphis Gets: Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver
Miami would be able to get to the finals with this trade and quickly would be one of the most playoff experienced teams in the NBA. Atlanta would get younger but not lose their ability to compete in the playoffs because the talent would still be therer. Memphis needs a sharpshooter and a quick guard and this gives them a younger option at point guard.
1. Los Angeles Clippers trade with Minnesota
Los Angeles Gets: Shabazz Muhammad
Minnesota Gets: Wesley Johnson, Brandon Dawson and Clipper’s 2017 First Round Pick
Clippers get a much needed upgrade at small forward. The Timberwolves have Wiggins to play SF and are going to lose Muhammad at some point so it is important they get compensation for him while they still can. This would give the Clippers a better chance at representing the west in the finals.
2. Oklahoma City trades with Sacramento
Oklahoma City Gets: Ben McLemore and Duje Dukan
Sacramento Gets: Dion Waiters and Thunder 2017 First Round Pick
Oklahoma City needs a scoring threat off the bench and McLemore would be a great fit with them. Sacramento gets an expiring contract and a first round pick. Both teams would benefit from this trade and the Thunder may have the firepower to beat Golden State.
3. Portland trades with Detroit
Portland Gets: Rudy Gay and Seth Curry
Detroit Gets: Ben McLemore, Moe Harkless and Trailblazer’s 2018 Second Round Pick
Sacramento Gets: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Spencer Dinwiddie, Darrun Hilliard and Detroit’s 2019 Second Round Pick.
Portland could become dangerous by adding veteran Rudy Gay. Detroit is able to get a good up and coming shooting guard and the Kings are trying to get rid of McLemore and this would allow them to do so. The Trailblazers could scare a lot of teams with a trio of Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Rudy Gay and maybe even make a deep playoff run.
4. Houston, Miami, and Minnesota trade
Houston Gets: Ricky Rubio, Chris Anderson and Hassan Whiteside
Miami Heat Get: Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverly
Minnesota Gets: Goran Drogic, Beno Urih, Richardson and The Heat’s 2020 First Round Pick
The Rockets would be able to get rid of a headache for them in Dwight Howard while getting a starting center and an upgrade at point guard. Miami gets a star to play alongside Wade and Bosh and could really challenge the Cavaliers. Minnesota is able to unload a big contract while creating room for Zach LaVine to develop.
5. Memphis trades with Los Angeles Lakers
Memphis Gets: Lou Williams
Los Angeles Lakers Get: Courtney Lee and Grizzlies 2019 Second Round Pick
Memphis has always been a great defensive team but to win the west you have to score and Lou Williams would come off the bench and light up the score board for them. This trade allows the Lakers to acquire an expiring contract to help them in free agency.