Every year, there are two seasons in every NBA season. One happens on the basketball court, AND the other is the TRADE SEASON BABY!!! It’s officially trade season once again, which means it’s time to fire up the ESPN trade machine and close your office door.
But who’s getting involved in this year’s trade season? I’m glad you asked. We’ll be taking a look at which teams should be looking to add pieces for a playoff run, and which ones should be looking to the future.
Boy, it feels like a lifetime ago that the Blazers were in the Western Conference Finals doesn’t it? If the playoffs were to start today, Portland wouldn’t even be an 8th seed. The Western Conference is a blood bath again this year, and Portland is going to need some extra fire power if they want back in the post season.
It’s no secret that Kevin Love has wanted to come back home to the Pacific Northwest. It would be a match made in heaven. Once Jusif Nurkic comes back from injury, a frontcourt of him and Kevin Love would light the rest of the league on fire.
What the Miami Heat have done to start this season is nothing short of extraordinary. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say that no one thought that Miami would be sitting at #2 in the Eastern Conference at this point of the season. One could argue that Miami shouldn’t do anything and just roll with the guys they currently have. Despite how well the Heat have been playing, there is still room for improvement.
There are plenty of great players available. Jrue Holiday is one name that comes to mind. Jrue would be such a great fit on this Miami squad, especially playing next to Jimmy Butler. The defensive tenacity would make any backcourt in the league extremely nervous.
When Russell Westbrook was traded to the Rockets, people were skeptical and for good reason. Could two ball dominant guards coexist on the same team? Most thought that they couldn’t coexist, but a few thought that they could, and those who thought that they could have been right so far. They’ve hit some rough patches, but it looks like Houston has found their groove.
The Rockets still need more fire power to contend with the likes of the Lakers and Clippers. That makes them a potential destination for Kevin Love destination or maybe even a guy like Aaron Gordon from the Orlando Magic. Gordon’s defensive ability next to Clint Capela would be electric.
Poor Orlando Magic. Ever since Dwight Howard skipped town, it just feels like they can’t get it right. To their credit, they have tried to compete, but they just haven’t had much success. Their ceiling is being the 6-8 seed in the East, and getting swept by whoever they face. They now have a weird roster of guys who don’t really fit together. It might be time to tear it all down and start over.
Thankfully, the Magic do have a few intriguing players they could ship off for draft picks. That way if they wanted to jumpstart on a rebuild, they would be able to load up their war chest with assets.
Aaron Gordon has been a name we’ve been hearing about for the past year as a potential trade piece. And Nikola Vucivic could really help a playoff team get over the hump. It’s doubtful that the Magic would consider trading Markel Fultz, but you never know. There’s always a chance that Orlando could convince a team that Fultz has totally gotten over the issues that he’s been dealing with since entering the league.
What really needs to happen for the Chicago Bulls is for the owner to fire the GM and Jim Boylin. They might just be the worst duo in the league. Chicago does have some great young talent, for example Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markinen. But none of that matters if the coaching is terrible.
If the Bulls are content where they are, they might as well just try and get rid of Zach Lavine and anyone else on the roster who has any talent. Plenty of teams would pay a premium for any of the players mentioned above and it would give ownership time to find a competent coach and general manager.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, the Knicks are bad. The Knicks have a bottom 5 record. They fired David Fizdale and the team has been playing better. However, the Knicks are not a free agent destination. It seems that one wants to play in New York. Most people lay the blame at the feet of their owner, James Dolan.
The Knicks should really consider trading everyone that is 25 and older. There’s no reason Marcus Morris and Julius Randle should be on this roster. They could provide minutes for playoff teams and it would give the young guys more playing time and allow them to develop.
Ultimately, what Dolan needs to realize is that free agents are not going to come to New York, so the organization needs to focus on developing their own young talent. Until he realizes this, the Knicks will be in the same place they’ve been this whole decade, in the basement of the Eastern Conference.