Before I get into these trades, I first want to preface this by saying that these may not be the most realistic of trades. Players like Clint Capela and Mike Conley are currently being looked at by teams, but the the trade itself may not be the most realistic. I made trades that benefit both teams, and I tried to keep them realistic, but you disagree.
Just to preface this, these trades are a mix of speculation and facts. Players like Mike Conley and Clint Capela are garnering a lot of interest from other NBA teams, but the teams that they’re being traded in this article may not be the teams that trade for them in real life. The trades were made with both teams best interests in mind, but these trades are trades that should happen, not necessarily the trades that will happen.
Charlotte receives : Clint Capela
Houston receives : Marvin Williams and the 12th overall pick
This should be a no brainer for Charlotte. The Hornets are interested in moving up in the draft, so trading out of the draft itself wouldn’t exactly be ideal, but Clint Capela would add more to the Hornets than anyone they can draft at #12. Charlotte is in a weird spot. They’re the physical embodiment of mediocrity, and that leaves a big question for Hornets GM Mitch Kupchak to answer. Should the Hornets trade away assets and rebuild? Or should they try and build around Kemba, and win while he’s still in his prime? Even though all signs are pointing to Kemba resigning with Charlotte, going out and trading for a player of Capela’s caliber will give Kemba even more reason to stay. Charlotte was tied with 3 other teams for the 3rd seed in the East in the 2015-2016 season, and their roster didn’t look too different that season. Nicholas Batum was their second best player (he’s declined significantly since then,) and players such as Cody Zeller, Jeremy Lamb, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Marvin Williams are still on the roster today. The East isn’t as weak as it was in the 2015-2016 season, so don’t expect Charlotte to find that same amount of success soon, but with a little bit of a retooling, the Hornets could be contending for the playoffs as early as next season.
Houston needs to make a change to be a championship contender. Clint Capela is their 3rd best player, but with his low FT% and limited outside presence, he was ran off the court in the playoffs. How can Houston expect to compete for a title when their best front court player is too much of a liability to be on the court? They’ve been shopping Clint Capela, and are currently rumored to be trading up with the Celtics to #14, but the contracts don’t exactly add up. The only way to make the trade work would be to give up Marcus Smart, which The Celtics wouldn’t be interested in doing. Houston could do a lot with the #12 pick. They could draft a center like Bol Bol, who wouldn’t have the same issues that Capela did. They could draft a wing like Sekou Doumboya or Rui Hachimura, or they could take a risk on a Nassir Little. Maybe they get even more depth in the backcourt and draft a player like Tyler Herro or Kevin Porter Jr. They could trade back and draft a more specialized player like Cameron Johnson or Matisse Thybulle. Maybe they have their eyes set on someone completely, who knows. Houston knows that with this current roster, they won’t win a championship. The question is, is this the move that will put them over the top?
Cleveland receives : The 8th overall pick, the 10th overall pick, the 35th overall pick, and Kent Bazemore
Atlanta receives : The 5th overall pick, and Tristan Thompson
Atlanta has their backcourt of the future with Trae Young and Kevin Huerter. They also have their power forward of the future in John Collins. With the center and small forward spots currently up in the air, having two picks in the top 10 seems perfect. Draft Cameron Reddish and Jaxson Hayes, and they’ll be set right? That’s definitely a very good option, but drafting a player like De’Andre Hunter or Jarrett Culver would be even better. Both Culver and Hunter showed huge potential throughout their college careers, and if either of them fulfilled their potential, it would be a big win for Atlanta. They would also being getting Tristan Thompson, who won’t be the long term answer at the center position, but would be a serviceable placeholder while they explore other options. If they’re confident in the potential of De’Andre Hunter or Jarrett Culver, then it wouldn’t be surprising to see them move up in the draft.
Cleveland needs depth. Cedi Osman and Collin Sexton were the two player leading the team in minutes (32.2 and 31.8 minutes respectively,) and they had 19 players who played 15 minutes or more throughout the season. The fact that Sam Dekker and Cameron Payne both averaged more than 18 minuets per game with the Cavaliers shows how thin they were throughout the season. There’s only 2 players in Cleveland that have showed a high potential this season, Cedi Osman and Collin Sexton. Teams like Charlotte and Minnesota have just as many, if not more young players, and they aren’t anywhere close to as bad. Cleveland needs to trade back and maximize their depth. The 35th overall pick could also be useful, with players like Carson Edwards, Grant Williams, or Chuma Okeke possibly falling into the 2nd round. They also have the 26th overall pick, which could be also be very valuable. With 4 good draft picks, it’d be hard for Cleveland to strike it, so it’ll give them more freedom to take risks.
Best case scenario if they don’t trade back, is that they get De’Andre Hunter, who plays the same position as Cedi Osman. Best case scenario if they do trade back is to get Sekou Doumboya, Jaxson Hayes, and Chuma Okeke. Usually teams should value quality over quantity (teams like Atlanta for example,) but for a team as shallow as Cleveland, they should build up young talent, and focus on developing them. Don’t expect them to be winning anytime soon, so in this case the more the merrier.
Detroit receives : James Johnson, Dion Waiters, Justice Winslow and the 13th overall pick
Miami receives : Blake Griffin, and Langston Galloway and the 45th overall pick
Teams like Charlotte, Detroit, and Miami are all stuck in the awkward middle ground of the NBA. They’re not good enough to make any noise in the playoffs, but they’re also not bad enough to get any great young talent in the draft. They need to either commit to competing for the playoffs, and trade their young assets for players who can win right now, or they need to commit to rebuilding, and trade their assets away for young talent and draft picks. Teams like Charlotte and Miami have young talent, mixed with veterans on bad contracts, but they’re just a couple pieces away from being competitive. A team like Detroit however, has very little overall talent, but they do have 2 superstars. Detroit can leverage Griffin and Drummond for young talent and draft capital, so in their case, tearing it down may be the better option. After this deal, they’d have the 13th and 15th overall picks, and they’d be getting a good young asset in Winslow. They’d also be clearing 10 million in cap space this season, and 9 million in cap next season. That’s not a whole lot, but it’s a step in the right direction for a team that’s been struggling with money for a while. Drummond will only be 26 on opening night, so you don’t even necessarily need to trade him. Detroit has a lot of options going forward, but tearing it down in hopes of building it up even stronger in the future seems like the best option.
Just like Detroit and Charlotte, Miami needs to make a choice. With a player like Jimmy Butler showing big interest in Miami this offseason, Miami will most likely try and win now. They’ll be getting a proven superstar in Blake Griffin, a mid 2nd round pick, and Langston Galloway is just to make the trade work. Even if they somehow get rid of Hassan Whiteside and Ryan Anderson, and get no money back in return (which is already extremely unlikely,) they’ll only have 18.7 million in cap, which isn’t anywhere close to enough to sign Jimmy Butler. There are rumors that Jimmy Butler could be involved in a sign and trade that would end up with him in Miami, so maybe that’s the plan. Miami has a lot of options going forward, so it’ll be interesting to see what route they go.
Celtics receive : Mike Conley and Avery Bradley
Memphis receives : Gordon Hayward, Aron Baynes, Semi Ojeleye, the 14th overall pick, and the 51st overall pick.
Gordon Hayward hasn’t really worked out in Boston. He missed the 2017-2018 season with that brutal ankle injury, and then in 2018-2019 he averaged only 11.5 points per game, which is the 2nd lowest of his career, only beating out his 5.4 points per game rookie season. Obviously, his injury has had a lot to do with this, but what if Boston just isn’t for him? The Celtics and Gordon Hayward can probably agree that his stint with that team has been disappointing, and his days may be numbered in Boston. They’re paying him roughly 32 million per year to come off the bench for them. As sad as It is to say, he’s not living up to the money he’s getting paid, and it’s time for Boston to move on from him. In this trade. They’d be bringing in veteran point guard Mike Conley, as well as former the Boston Celtics shooting guard, Avery Bradley. Avery Bradley has had a rough time since leaving Boston. He started his career playing his first 7 seasons with the Celtics, but in the past 4 seasons, he’s played with the Pistons, the Clippers, and now the Grizzlies. He had disappointing runs in both Detroit and Los Angeles, but in his 14 games with Memphis he looked like his old Boston self, averaging 16 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal with efficient shooting stats. Avery Bradley seems like he’s just getting thrown into this trade, but the Boston Celtics could be getting a steal in Bradley.
When it comes to Mike Conley, Boston knows what they’re going to get. They’re going to get a leader, who is determined to playing winning basketball. He’s an efficient scorer, who doesn’t need to be the focal point of the offense. He’s a good ball handler and playmaker, and is willing to give it his all on both sides of the court. He may be up there in age, but he could be the veteran Boston needs. With reports that Kyrie is planning to sign with Brooklyn this summer, it’ll be smart for the Celtics to go and find a new point guard now, before the inevitable occurs.
Memphis is in a good position for the future. Jaren Jackson Jr showed flashes of greatness in his rookie year. Dillon Brooks showed a lot of potential in his rookie season, but missed most of this season after he had to undergo a season ending toe injury. Jonas Valanciunas showed big improvements after being traded to Memphis as well. Whoever they draft with the #2 overall pick (Ja Morant seems like the most likely candidate,) could end up being very good for Memphis as well. They have a lot of young talent, and adding Semi Ojeleye and whoever they draft at #14 will make their situation even better. They don’t have a ton of pressure to win right now, so having veteran players on big contracts such as Gordon Hayward, Chandler Parsons, and Cj Miles, won’t be too bad for the Grizzlies in the short term. Memphis had a good run with Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, but that era is over. Memphis needs to hand the reigns to Ja Morant, and officially end the Mike Conley era in Memphis.
Denver receives: Bradley Beal and Ian Mahinmi
Washington receives : Michael Porter Jr, Mason Plumlee, Gary Harris, and 2021 1st round pick (unprotected)
Denver is in a really good spot to make a trade for a superstar. They’re a young, deep team, with all of their 1st round draft picks going forward. The Denver Nuggets had a lot of success this season, even though young players like Michael Porter Jr and Jarred Vanderbilt didn’t play. Denver’s going to be a good team for years to come, so trading trading away the 2021 1st round pick won’t be a problem for them. They’ll be losing depth at the center position, which could be a problem, but there will be more than enough opportunity to sign a serviceable backup center in free agency. They’ll have to give up Michael Porter Jr, which is a risk because of how good he looked in high school, but this season Denver showed that they’re ready to win right now, so Bradley Beal would be more valuable than Michael Porter Jr would be.
Washington needs to rebuild. John Wall is going to be out for the entire 2019-2020 season, so they should look to tank this season, and try and retool through the draft. They have some good young pieces such as Bobby Portis, Thomas Bryant, and Troy Brown Jr, so adding a player like with such high potential like Michael Porter Jr on top that would make the future of the Washington Wizards look even brighter. Jarred Vanderbilt also showed some potential in college as a defender and a rebounder. They also have the #9 in the draft, which could be very good for them depending on who’s available. The Washington Wizards have the potential to gain a lot from a Bradley Beal trade, so now it’s up to them. Do they want to revamp the team with young talent, or do they want to continue on the path that they’re heading?