Making trades in the NBA is a chess match. More deals fall through than actually materialize, but with the way players are forcing midseason trades and owners are Superteam hunting, deals involving superstars are more probable.
Some of them just need a change of scenery and others could be valuable pieces for title contenders down the playoff stretch.
1 & 2: Magic Gets LeBron a scorer and dumps Lonzo Ball
The Wizards have been contemplating trading All-star Bradley Beal ever since they blessed guard John Wall with a $207 million contract extension.
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The reported strained relationship between Beal and Wall, the consistent mediocrity of the current roster and LeBron James’need for a No. 2 in LA has the rumor mill swirling. A possible deal between the Lakers and Wizards that would send some combination of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, maybe Kyle Kuzma or KCP and draft picks to the Wizards for Beal makes sense. Beal would be a welcomed addition in LA, but his contract would eat a lot of the cap space that the Lakers want to use to pursue other elite free agents this summer.
With Golden State and Houston taking steps backwards in the West, now is the time for Magic Johnson to go in for the kill.
3. CJ McCollum Doesn’t Wanna Be A Sidekick No More
The Portland Trail Blazers were plagued by a summer of trade rumors but didn’t pull the trigger on any major deals that would involve breaking up their killer backcourt of Dame D.O.L.L.A. Lillard and CJ McCollum. The tandem has been among the NBA’s elite backcourts for the past three seasons but stuck in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference as a team. It’s probably time for a change.
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McCollum was closely linked with a move to the Cleveland Cavaliers during the Draft night but he remains with RIP City. With the Trailblazers in fifth place, just 1.5 games out of first in a crowded Western Conference, it’s unlikely Portland will trade the 6-foot-4, 27-year-old perennial 20-point per game scorer.
However, there are a number of teams, including the Lakers, Rockets and Spurs, who could make huge leaps by acquiring McCollum.
4. Bring Kemba Walker Home
It’s still a dream of mine that the Knicks figure out a way to work out a trade for Kemba Walker and his 27.4 points per game. Allonzo Trier, Tim Hardaway Jr., and a second rounder maybe?
Bring the Bronx native and bonafide NBA scorer back home to help revitalize the spirit of NYC hoops and lead the Knicks rebuilding process.
It would be a defining move for the All-Black Knicks front office and would infuse the city with enthusiasm due to an automatic attachment to Kemba as a prodigal son.
Kemba Walker and the 2010-11 UConn national championship team will go down as having one of the most improbable title runs in NCAA history. After finishing ninth in the Big East conference, the Huskies went on to win 11 straight postseason games and claim the title.
Walker’s career is wasting away in Charlotte. If he’s going to play for a cursed franchise at least do it in The Garden. It’s where he dreamed of playing and the place where carved his name in Big East hoops history with his remarkable 2014 Tournament run.
5. Gordon Hayward’s Boston run is probably over this summer. Why not get a jump on it now?
Hayward doesn’t seem to fit on this guard-laden Celtics squad. Ever since Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown blossomed into PTPers and Kyrie reestablished himself as the No. 1 option, Hayward has struggled to find a role. He’s averaging 10.1 ppg which is his lowest output since his rookie season. It’s also unclear whether or not he’s fully recovered from his season-ending injury.
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There are a bunch of teams with much less talent than the Celtics, who could use a healthy Gordon Hayward to assist them in a playoff run.