One of the most fun things to do in sports is concocting fake but extremely plausible trades. Heck, we've already done it with the MLB. With so much talent and player flexibility in the league, it isn’t uncommon to see some of the biggest names in the sport change teams.
These 10 potential trades would make for some earth-shattering changes in the NBA, with both the players and teams involved poised to benefit if they were to come to fruition.
Let's start with one of the most attractive trade pieces in the NBA.
Bradley Beal to the Brooklyn Nets
A recent rumor going around the NBA has been that Bradley Beal is on his way toward being traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Beal, an elite scorer, is currently going nowhere fast on a Wizards team that is Trusting the Process. A big step in kickstarting that rebuild will be getting rid of Beal’s contract in exchange for cap space and draft picks.
On the flip side, the Nets could use a scorer like Beal to serve as a third option behind Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Given the injury history of both Irving and Durant, a player like Beal behind them would help to protect the Nets against injuries while still making them a viable contender in the Eastern Conference.
If the Nets could add Beal, they'd create arguably one of the most dangerous Big Threes in the league.
Victor Oladipo to the New York Knicks
Victor Oladipo is a player who is no stranger to the bright lights, what with his performances against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs along with appearances on shows like The Masked Singer. And it would only make sense that a player like Oladipo would take his talents to a team in a major market such as New York. Given the Pacers’ current situation, the trade would be a win-win.
Right now, the Pacers have a large chunk of their salary cap committed to Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis. That leaves the team in a difficult spot as they try to re-sign Oladipo, who will likely command a salary that the team cannot afford.
Offloading Oladipo would allow the Pacers to get something for him instead of letting him walk for nothing, and it would help the Knicks land an established player who could help them make a playoff run... eventually.
Giannis Antetokounmpo to the Western Conference
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the best player in the NBA right now, but fans don’t get a chance to watch him as much as they might if he were in a more glamorous market. Because of that, a trade to the Western Conference could be in order, as it is unclear just how likely it is for the Bucks to be able to re-sign Giannis.
Milwaukee is not a market that usually attracts free agents, which means that Giannis might not get top-tier help should he stay with the Bucks. If he decides not to sign an extension with Milwaukee, a trade to the Western Conference would create salivating matchups almost every night between Antetokounmpo and the rest of the conference.
For NBA fans, that would be better than watching the Greek Freak beat up on the East on a nightly basis.
Which Western Conference team should make a move for him? Well, the Warriors make a lot of sense...
Jarrett Allen to the Warriors
Speaking of the Warriors... Golden State acquiring the Nets big man would make a lot of sense for the Dubs. Jarrett Allen had something of a breakout season for the Brooklyn Nets last year, helping the team get to the postseason despite a lack of top-level talent.
This season, the Nets are in a holding pattern without the availability of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving due to injury. In the future, a trade of Jarrett Allen to the Warriors could make Golden State better while not impacting the Nets severely.
Golden State lost Kevon Looney to a season-ending injury this season, and a player like Allen would give them an upgrade on the interior anyway. Brooklyn, meanwhile, would be able to avoid paying Allen an amount that would likely be exorbitant when his contract comes up. And given the status of the Nets as contenders in the near future, they would likely be able to find a cheap replacement.
If this happens, then it would probably alter the Warriors' NBA Draft plans.
Chris Paul to the Knicks
While Chris Paul might be past his prime as a point guard in the NBA, he certainly has proven that he's still one of the most talented players in the league. Given the dire circumstances that the New York Knicks find themselves in, it might not be a bad idea for Paul, the Knicks and the Oklahoma City Thunder to work out a deal that would send the veteran point guard to Madison Square Garden.
Oklahoma City has exceeded expectations with Paul as their star player, but they clearly have a ceiling that falls short of contending for a championship. The worst thing a team can be in the NBA is in the middle of the pack.
Trading Paul would help the Thunder bottom out, while the Knicks would get a player that could help them immediately and that they could pair with considerable cap space to bring in another star or two.
Karl-Anthony Towns to the Celtics
Both Karl-Anthony Towns and the Boston Celtics are wasting considerable talent as they are currently constructed. Towns might be the most talented all-around big man in the NBA, but he's stuck on a Minnesota team that is terrible outside of his abilities. And the Celtics are currently lacking a paint presence that would allow their considerable talent to shine.
Trading Towns to the Celtics would give Boston the paint presence that they need on both sides of the floor. Teaming KAT up with Kemba Walker in the Celtics' pick-and-roll offense would be fearsome in a depleted Eastern Conference. And with the Wolves already trading Andrew Wiggins, getting rid of Towns would allow them to start over after another disappointing attempt to rebuild after the Kevin Garnett era.
Rudy Gobert to the Celtics
The Utah Jazz almost have to trade Rudy Gobert. The reigning defensive player of the year in the NBA may have permanently destroyed the relationship with his team after spreading the coronavirus to teammate Donovan Mitchell, shortly after he jokingly touched the recording devices of reporters during a press conference. Boston could be a good destination for Gobert to try again with.
As mentioned previously, the Celtics desperately need a big man. While Gobert lacks the offensive capabilities that Towns possesses, he would still make this team an elite defensive club.
As long as he can avoid spreading disease upon his arrival, he could make the Celtics better while the Jazz would surely improve their team chemistry.
CJ McCollum to the Sixers
One of the most enigmatic teams in the NBA is Philadelphia. They have a ton of talent on their roster, but a lack of perimeter shooting at the guard spots makes them a team that isn’t likely to win a championship as currently constructed. Trading for a player like CJ McCollum — who can score from anywhere on the floor — would help the Sixers be able to make up for Ben Simmons’ lack of perimeter shooting.
McCollum is also used to playing second fiddle to bigger stars. He's currently the second-best player on the Trail Blazers behind Damian Lillard. That wouldn't change much in Philadelphia as he'd take a backseat to Joel Embiid. However, McCollum would be the primary perimeter threat in Philly.
With this deal, the Sixers would improve instantly and the Trail Blazers would be able to get a nice haul of picks and young players for his services.
Al Horford to the Rockets
Houston went all-in on small ball when they traded away Clint Capela earlier this season. And while that style of play is fun to watch, it doesn’t lend itself to winning in the playoffs. If Houston could make a deal for a player like Al Horford then they would have just enough size to be able to compete with the elite teams in the NBA, without completely giving up on their offensive philosophy.
Horford is a big man who can shoot from the outside at an efficient rate, which would fit well with a Rockets team that loves to put the ball up from beyond the arc. In exchange, the Sixers could ask for a player like Eric Gordon or another guard who can help them with their dire three-point shooting situation.
Horford looked a little long in the tooth in Philly, but his game should be a better fit in Houston.
Ben Simmons to the Magic
Ben Simmons is one of the most dynamic players in the NBA. He can get to the basket against virtually any defender on a regular basis, setting up teammates with easy scoring opportunities. But his lack of a jump shot is an egregious oversight in his game, one that will hold the Sixers back from contending for titles for the foreseeable future. Dealing Simmons to Orlando would help the Sixers move on from Simmons while making the Magic a fascinating team in their own right.
Orlando is a team that has a decent selection of shooters for Simmons to distribute the ball to, along with Nikola Vucevic, whose game is vaguely similar to that of Joel Embiid.
Adding Simmons would make that team better, while the Sixers could use their free cap space to add a more versatile guard into their starting lineup.
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