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Trade Deadline Center

8 min read

The trade deadline is approaching. Here are a few potential trade ideas from one group meeting.


Davis Bertans to a contender?

Bertans is shooting 42% from three on roughly nine attempts per game. Pretty much any team could use that. Unfortunately for contenders looking to make a move, that includes Bertans’s current team, the Wizards. Washington has John Wall returning next year and wants to keep their super role player around on his team friendly contract. Still, teams will be doing what they can to get him, so here’s what some of those offers might look like.

– Bertans to the Clippers for Rodney McGruder, Jerome Robinson, and a second rounder. Maybe this will be enough, though it’s not entirely clear what the Wizards would do with Robinson. There aren’t a ton of other options on Los Angeles’s roster though. They’ll have to hope the second rounder is enough because it’s hard to see them giving up more. A first rounder in place of the second rounder is possible if Los Angeles really thinks Bertans is the missing link. 

– Bertans to the Celtics for Romeo Langford and Grant Williams. The Wizards could use some wings, though this might be too steep of a price to pay for Boston, who already has Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown soaking up a ton of minutes in the forward spots. They could use the shooting though.

– Bertans to the Lakers for Avery Bradley, Quinn Cook, and two second rounders. The Lakers can’t trade a first round pick until 2023, and their trade assets, outside of Kyle Kuzma are rather weak. I don’t see Kuzma getting involved here, and the Wizards don’t need Bradley or Cook. This one is unlikely, though the Lakers would surely take it.

– Bertans to the Sixers for Zhaire Smith, Mike Scott, and a first rounder. Smith has been left out in Philly this year, and his potential, along with an additional pick, would make for an enticing trade package. Scott would need to be included to make the money work. The Sixers need the shooting, so they might be willing to go with this offer.

– Bertans to the Rockets for no one. The Rockets don’t really have the salaries to make this work unless they give up both Damon House and Ben McLemore or a bunch of small contract guys. I don’t think it happens for Houston.


Drummond has to go

After heightened speculation a few weeks ago, talks around Andre Drummond have cooled. It would be better for both sides if they parted ways at this point. The problem is finding a trade partner for the elite rebounder, who has questionable effort and floor spacing issues.

– Drummond to Charlotte for Bismack Biyombo, Marvin Williams, and a first rounder. This would give the Pistons a first rounder in return for Drummond, which is something they would gladly take. It would also give Charlotte a potential third core piece alongside DeVonte’ Graham and PJ Washington. Given how they’re sliding into the second half; however, that pick might be worth far more than Drummond. This one would probably be a steal for Detroit.

– Drummond and Markieff Morris to the Celtics for Gordon Hayward and a second rounder. Boston needs a center, but due to the ridiculous contracts of most of the potentially available big men, they will likely need to cut into their core to obtain a legitimate upgrade. I’m not saying this is a smart move, or one Boston would consider, but if they believe that their center position is a significant problem, then this is a way to upgrade it while also getting some wing help to make up for part of Hayward’s absence. It would give Detroit the chance to move in a different direction as well.

– Drummond, Derrick Rose, Luke Kennard, and a second rounder to the Sixers for Joel Embiid, Zhaire Smith, and Marial Shayok. Let’s get wild here. The Pistons jumpstart a rebuild while the Sixers move on from the troubled Embiid-Simmons pairing that has yet to reach the heights it was supposed to reach by replacing Embiid with a lower usage center and also getting two needed playmakers in Rose and Kennard. Will it happen? Probably not. Would it be a whole lot of fun if it did? Yes.

– Drummond to the Kings for Bogdan Bogdanovic, Cory Joseph, and Yogi Ferrell. The Dewayne Dedmon experiment really hasn’t worked in Sacramento, as he has been poor in limited minutes and recently requested a trade. Richaun Holmes (.2o6 win shares per 48 minutes), Marvin Bagley III, and Nemanja Bjelica need minutes at the 4 and 5, but none of those guys are true centers. If the Kings want to try something different in the wake of a disappointing half season, this is an intriguing option. Bogdanovic is set to hit free agency, and Sacramento has yet to make any progress towards keeping him in town. He would step right in as a solid future piece in Detroit. An additional piece here – Dedmon would be an obvious candidate to be included in any trade for a new center, but the Pistons, with Christian Wood and eternal purveyor of hope Thon Maker, have other guys to play there.


Is there any love for Kevin?

Love has a massive contract, is over 30, and has a variety of injury concerns. He’s also averaging 17.4 points and 10 rebounds per game on 37% shooting from deep. He has championship experience as well, and he could be the final piece for a contender.

– Love to the Heat for James, Johnson, Derrick Jones Jr., and Meyers Leonard. The Heat feel like a “one missing piece” team. If they think Love is that piece, this is a possibility. The Cavs would get a young, athletic wing in Jones Jr. and another potential future piece in Leonard.

– Love to the Trail Blazers for Hassan Whiteside, Nassir Little, and a second rounder. Jusuf Nurkic is getting closer to a return, and Love would be a much better fit alongside him than Whiteside. A starting lineup of Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Trevor Ariza/Carmelo Anthony, Love, and Nurkic would give the Blazers a shot at a run to the playoffs during the stretch run, and the return of Zach Collins and Rodney Hood alongside Anfernee Simons would eventually give the Blazers a solid rotation once again. Little and the second rounder (2022) would give the Cavs something in return, as they likely wouldn’t feel an urge to keep Whiteside beyond his contract, which expires at the end of the season.

– Love to the Magic for Aaron Gordon and Al-Faroq Aminu. The Magic really aren’t a team missing one piece, but Gordon has been mentioned as a potential trade candidate for a while now. He would, by his age, be more in line with the competitive timeline in Cleveland, and Love would likely improve the Magic offensively, where they have struggled for years.

– Love to the Suns for Tyler Johnson, Dario Saric, and Mikal Bridges. I’m not a huge fan of this move for Phoenix, and they seem to have pulled out of any Love interest after the initial rumors. They are another team that probably isn’t just one piece of Love’s caliber away from being a championship team, so it would be smart to hold off on this. If they pull the trigger on this in an effort to make the playoffs though, Johnson’s expiring contract makes the money work and Saric and Bridges would give the Cavs some much needed wing depth in return for Love.

– Love to the Celtics for Gordon Hayward. It’s the trade deadline. Let’s get wild. Love provides a bit more of an inside presence in Boston and Hayward is a slightly younger wing, albeit with similar injury concerns, for Cleveland.


Will Pistons give up Rose?

Derrick Rose is playing great basketball this year, averaging 18.8 points and 6 assists per game. If Detroit is willing to move him, a lot of contenders would benefit from gaining him as a secondary and/or bench scorer and playmaker.

– Rose to the Lakers for Kyle Kuzma and Quinn Cook. The Lakers are one of the contenders that need that extra playmaking option. Kuzma has struggled at times this year, but still has some potential. He could be enough to get the Pistons to bite, and it would be worth it for the Lakers if Rose gives them the boost they need to reach The Finals.

– More Rose trades to come


Any Tristan Thompson takers?

Like Love, Thompson is making quite a bit of money for a terrible Cavs team. He has dealt with some injuries in recent years, but is, at 28, still relatively young. That might be an attractive feature for potential trade partners, but it isn’t young enough for the Cavs, who have a long rebuild staring them in the face. If trading Thompson can help push that forward, then it makes sense to do it. For teams looking for a center, his toughness, championship pedigree, and rebounding (10.3 boards per game, 14th in total rebound percentage, 4th in offensive rebound percentage) will have a pull despite his limitations.

– Thompson to the Celtics for Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter, Semi Ojeleye, Vincent Poirier, and Javonte Green. This one probably won’t work because of the money. The Celtics could use someone like Thompson on the inside, but, because of Thompson’s contract, this deal would need to include either one of Marcus Smart or Gordon Hayward (not going to happen for Thompson) or the massive list of players above – other (even more unlikely) possibilities for this list include Carsen Edwards, Romeo Langford, and Grant Williams, higher value pieces with similar contracts. Boston will probably need to look elsewhere for interior help.

– Thompson to the Hawks for Evan Turner and Damion Lee. The Hawks get an upgrade, likely temporarily, at the center position to assuage Trae Young, and to help evaluate what they need to look for at the center spot in the future. The Cavs get a younger, potential development project in Lee. It probably just makes sense for the Hawks to get as high of a pick as possible this season, but this would be a relatively low cost move to raise the ceiling a little bit if rumors of Young’s lack of patience are true.

– Thompson to the Clippers for Maurice Harkless, Jerome Robinson, and Mfiondu Kabengele. The money again is in issue here, and the Clippers might wind up giving up a little more than they want here. It’s also not clear what Cleveland could do with Robinson when they already have Colin Sexton, Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr., and Dante Exum, but he would at least be another young piece to add. Kabengele would be a big man to develop, which the Cavs sorely need, and he’s not good enough at the moment to be too much in a trade like this. At the end of the day, any move like this will come down to what the Clippers believe their ceiling is with Ivica Zubac and Montrezl Harrell controlling the pain. If they think Thompson raises that ceiling, they would be wise to make this move.

– Thompson, Love, Ante Zizic, Brandon Knight, Larry Nance Jr., John Henson, and Matthew Dellavedova for Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, D’Angelo Russell, Eric Paschall, and Alen Smailagic. Who says no? Probably the Cavs.


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