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Good luck predicting player movement in the NBA. This summer showed us that would be a fool’s errand.
Not only is it impossible to know what will happen in the trade market, but you also can’t know when things will happen.
Sure, there are some clues within the regular season. Dec. 15 is when players who signed free-agent deals this summer can be dealt. Feb. 6 is the deadline.
But even though there’s a buffer between now and both of those dates, you can be sure teams around the league are already doing their due diligence.
Even good teams lay out contingencies upon contingencies. You need to be prepared for anything. Some whiteboards may be home to shorter lists than others, but everyone should have some targets, even if they don’t end up pursuing them.
With that in mind, you’ll find below one player who each squad should be targeting.
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The most intriguing name in the trade market might be Andre Iguodala. While there was some speculation about a buyout when the Memphis Grizzlies acquired him in July, they’ve since angled toward getting some compensation for the 2015 Finals MVP.
As Sean Deveney wrote for Heavy.com:
“Memphis plans to wait on a buyout with Iguodala until February’s trade deadline. The Grizzlies are still holding out hope that a trade can be worked out and have been holding firm on their asking price of a first-round pick. If not, Iguodala will be cut loose from Memphis and free to sign with whomever he chooses—around the league, that’s expected to be the Lakers.”
Which teams should be exploring the possibility of intercepting Iguodala before he winds up with the Lakers?
He’s a one-man offense, but he could use a versatile defender to cover him on the other end. Delon Wright may be that, but the two have spent less time together than some expected coming into the season.
Iguodala can handle a variety of assignments on defense, and he can do some facilitating on the other end. You don’t want to take the ball out of Doncic’s hands more than you need to, but mixing in more catch-and-shoot opportunities might help his already strong efficiency.
Time heals all wounds. While the circumstances surrounding Iguodala’s 2013 departure from the Nuggets weren’t pretty, bringing him back makes sense now.
Marc Stein of the New York Times reported this summer that Denver would have interest if Iggy was bought out. It might need to get more aggressive to prevent him from going to L.A. post-buyout.
The Nuggets have plenty of wings, but Malik Beasley and Will Barton are a little small to play the 3. Jerami Grant, Michael Porter Jr. and Juancho Hernangomez should all be 4s. Iguodala is a more experienced and savvier defender than any of those five. And his basketball IQ would almost certainly fit in Denver’s cut-heavy offense alongside Nikola Jokic.
Houston has had plenty of success over the years with a simple formula that reads something like this: “James Harden plus plenty of grit equals wins.”
Iguodala would fit seamlessly into that formula.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Lakers aren’t the only L.A. team that should be after Iggy. The Clippers already have plenty of perimeter defense with Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Patrick Beverley. Add Iguodala to lineups with those three, and the Clips become a full-blown nightmare on that end.
Los Angeles Lakers
As Deveney noted, the Lakers might be the leader in the clubhouse for the buyout scenario. But if L.A. thinks another team may swoop in and get him via trade, it may think about such a move itself.
The problem is that the Lakers roster pretty much takes them out of the trade market, regardless of the target. There aren’t many deals (maybe none) that are good for salary-matching purposes. Plus, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo all have to consent to be traded.
Switchability on defense and playmaking ability on the other are valued in Utah’s system. Iguodala could beef up an already versatile wing corps that includes Joe Ingles and Royce O’Neale.
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Teams around the league should be keeping an eye on the Detroit Pistons, who FiveThirtyEight currently forecasts to finish well shy of a playoff spot.
If things continue to go poorly in the Motor City, a fire sale might be in order.
The two biggest targets would be Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. With contention nowhere in sight, do the Pistons really want to be on the hook for Drummond’s next big contract?
The center has a player option worth $28.8 million for next season, but with a dearth of top-tier free agents on the market this summer, he’s likely to turn that down.
The Atlanta Hawks could justify re-signing Drummond to a monster deal (after trading for him, of course).
Trae Young looks like the game’s next great point guard. While he already has a good pick-and-roll partner in John Collins, Atlanta looks committed to keeping him at the 4.
Drummond would be a monumental upgrade over Alex Len at the 5. And his efficiency could get a huge boost playing alongside Young. He’s never had a point guard with Young’s vision and passing ability.
Logistically, Atlanta has one of the best trade chips in the market in Chandler Parsons’ expiring contract. That and one intriguing young player like De’Andre Hunter would satisfy league trade rules.
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Despite the summer departure of Kyrie Irving, the Boston Celtics are cruising. Basketball-wise, Kemba Walker has been able to approximate everything Irving did. Chemistry-wise, Kemba is an upgrade.
While Robert Williams, Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis all have their various strengths, that seems like the most obvious spot to upgrade.
Would the San Antonio Spurs want to avoid Jakob Poeltl’s restricted free agency? Are the Sacramento Kings already experiencing buyer’s remorse with Dewayne Dedmon (and ready to move Marvin Bagley to the 5)? Do the Philadelphia 76ers have enough center minutes from Joel Embiid and Horford to be willing to move Kyle O’Quinn?
The problem with any of those targets is Boston’s lack of comparable trade assets. If the Celtics aren’t willing to get aggressive and offer Jaylen Brown or Gordon Hayward, it may be tough to find a deal.
Perhaps if the Kings continue to underperform expectations, Dedmon could be had for something built around Kanter (on a shorter and cheaper contract), Romeo Langford (a 2019 first-rounder) and one other piece for filler.
Dedmon can protect the rim while still being able to space the floor beyond the three-point line on the other end. That’d give the likes of Walker, Brown, Hayward and Jayson Tatum more room to operate inside.
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Add D’Angelo Russell to the growing list of Golden State Warriors scorers who are out with injuries.
On Saturday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Russell “will be re-evaluated with a sprained right thumb in two weeks.”
Let the Alec Burks showcase begin.
As of Monday, Burks is averaging 13.5 points and shooting 36.8 percent from three, and he’s about to get even more opportunities.
“Burks could become expendable,” Anthony Slater wrote for The Athletic after the wing dropped 28 in an early November performance. “He’s eligible to be traded in mid-December, and if he can repeat even a fraction of Wednesday’s performance with regularity, Burks could become an attractive February deadline target for a playoff team in need of some bench punch.”
The Nets are exactly that kind of squad, only they’re more of a playoff hopeful than an actual playoff team right now.
Brooklyn could use more scoring from the wing, especially with Caris LeVert set to miss several weeks after undergoing thumb surgery.
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Sacramento has already locked up Buddy Hield to a hefty long-term extension. All signs indicate that’ll happen with De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III as well. That may make Bogdan Bogdanovic the odd man out.
“That’s not something they’re looking at too seriously now as far as anyone can tell,” a general manager told Deveney. “They’re probably going to have to, but that’s not something to rush into. There would be a good market for Bogdanovic if they figure they can’t go far right now, but [the Kings] are still looking at how to make all of this work this season.”
If it doesn’t work—certainly possible in the ever-competitive West—Sacramento may have to get serious in looking for some value for Bogdanovic.
The Hornets have gotten off to a better-than-expected start, and if they stay near the playoff hunt, they may make a push to get in.
Sweetening Nicolas Batum’s bad salary with a first-round pick in exchange for Bogdanovic and Trevor Ariza works under the cap rules.
Getting a first for Bogey would be a win for the Kings, even if Batum ties up a big chunk of the books next season. He’d be gone by the time any Fox or Bagley extension would kick in.
For the Hornets, adding another playmaker alongside Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham would make them even less predictable. And Bogdanovic is in the same age range as Rozier and Cody Zeller.
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With Tomas Satoransky, Zach LaVine, Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen all on the roster, it was reasonable to expect decent three-point shooting from the 2019-20 Chicago Bulls.
But a month into the season, Chicago ranks in the bottom third of the league in both three-point percentage and effective field-goal percentage.
A good stretch from a few of the aforementioned shooters could send the Bulls flying up those charts, but outsourcing the problem might be in order.
Denver has a glut of wings and may not be able to pay Malik Beasley, who’s over 40 percent from three both this season and last year, as he enters restricted free agency this summer.
Having Beasley space the floor for second units that currently include non-shooter Kris Dunn could go a long way toward remedying this issue.
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Speaking of Nuggets who Denver might not want to pay this summer, Juancho Hernangomez is an intriguing stretch 4 who hasn’t been able to find a consistent role on one of the deepest teams in the league.
In Cleveland, he’d have more opportunities to show what he can do, especially if the Cavs ever go full rebuild and trade Kevin Love.
In lineups with Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Cedi Osman, Hernangomez could serve as a pressure release outside the three-point line.
Over the course of his career, 56.5 percent of his attempts have been threes. And his career 36.9 three-point percentage is above average.
Forcing bigger defenders to cover Hernangomez outside would create additional driving lanes for Sexton and Garland and could lead to less crowding on rebounds for Larry Nance Jr.
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This only makes sense if a couple of other (possibly unlikely) things are true.
First, the Pistons would have to view themselves as buyers rather than steer into a teardown. And second, the Raptors would have to essentially do the opposite.
The Athletic’s John Hollinger explained the logic behind a potential Kyle Lowry trade back in October:
“Toronto’s extension with Lowry only makes him more alluring in the eyes of contenders – instead of a rental, he’s around for 18 more months. One needn’t brainstorm a list of contenders who might covet Lowry’s craftiness, toughness and shooting in today’s guard-dominated, smallball era — the answer is, ‘All of them.’ Such a move also offers a clean shift to the future in the backcourt, as the Raptors could comfortably re-sign [Fred VanVleet] as their new long-term starter at the point.”
That logic may be less stable a few weeks later. The Raptors are winning games with Lowry, Serge Ibaka and OG Anunoby all out with injuries. It looks like a fully healthy Raptors squad could make it all the way back to the Finals out of an Eastern Conference that is tough to pin down.
If things start to look shaky in Toronto, or it becomes more clear that VanVleet is ready to be the long-term solution at the 1, moving Lowry might make some sense.
He’s exactly the kind of player who could salvage Detroit’s season. He commands far more attention outside than Reggie Jackson or Derrick Rose. He’s a more consistent defender as well.
The Blake Griffin-Andre Drummond pairing was always going to be a wonky fit, but a five-time All-Star who can shoot and has championship pedigree could go a long way toward ironing things out.
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Golden State is another squad that could use Hernangomez’s outside stroke. This season could serve as something of an extended audition for him.
Even before Stephen Curry went down, it was abundantly clear the Warriors didn’t have enough talent after their stars. Taking shots at young players who couldn’t fit in at their first stops is a good way to go.
If the Warriors were to acquire Hernangomez and have him shoot pretty well in this tank-worthy season, they could re-sign him and improve depth before 2020-21.
If he looks as out of place as some of the other Santa Cruz Warriors, it’s easy to let him walk in free agency.
This season is the time for the Warriors to look into chances like this.
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You can’t fault the Pacers for trying out the jumbo frontcourt of Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. However, while it may deserve a little more time for evaluation, Indiana has been significantly better with Sabonis at the 5 alongside a smaller 4.
The Pacers are minus-0.4 points per 100 possessions with both bigs on the floor. They’re plus-8.0 when Sabonis plays without Turner.
Surrounding Sabonis with floor spacers and letting him operate from the high and low posts will make Indiana tougher to defend. He has great touch out to 15-20 feet and may have inherited the passing gene from his father, Arvydas.
When Sabonis is on the floor without Turner, the big man is averaging 4.7 assists per 75 possessions.
Getting him a lights-out shooter at the 4 would allow him to use that passing ability to greater advantage.
The Oklahoma City Thunder looked poised to be this season’s primary seller in the trade market. They’re already loaded with assets from the Paul George and Russell Westbrook deals. The remaining veterans could fetch a few more.
Much of the talk has revolved around Chris Paul, but Danilo Gallinari is likely more desirable for most teams, given his age and manageable contract.
Frontcourt minutes with Gallo and Sabonis would be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
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If the Jazz were to get into the Iguodala market, as suggested above, moving Dante Exum would be almost inevitable. For one thing, he’s the most obvious salary-matching piece on Utah’s roster. He also makes plenty of sense for the rebuilding Grizzlies.
The team seems to have long-term solutions at the 1 (Ja Morant), 4 (Brandon Clarke) and 5 (Jaren Jackson Jr.). Dillon Brooks has shot the ball well this season and may fit well with those three, but Memphis still needs more wings who fit its timeline.
Given Morant’s slight frame, playing him alongside Exum would make sense for a variety of reasons. Over the course of his injury-plagued career, Exum has managed to prove one thing: He can ably defend anywhere from the 1 to the 3. The Grizzlies could throw him at the opposition’s point guard, thus saving Morant for the other end of the floor.
Offensively, Exum has yet to show consistent NBA range, but he’s still just 24 years old and has a killer first step. If he has the chance to attack closeouts after Morant gets the defense out of sorts, he could be an effective secondary playmaker.
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The notion that Chris Paul could join the Miami Heat has lost some steam since he was first acquired by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
CP3’s contract and age always made potential deals difficult, but now, Miami is performing at what some might consider a better-than-expected level.
Why shake things up when you’re on track for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs?
With only one star in Jimmy Butler, Miami would still likely be an underdog in a playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks or Boston Celtics. The Toronto Raptors might even be favored over the Heat.
Paul would up the level of raw talent, and the Heat have the kind of contracts necessary to make a deal.
“The Thunder would love to trade Chris Paul before the trade deadline so they can hoard even more young talent and draft picks,” USA Today‘s Mark Medina wrote in a Reddit Q&A. “Other teams are reluctant to acquire Paul given his age, injury history and contract, so that might not happen.”
If it becomes clear that getting picks isn’t possible for OKC, it may turn its sights on simply getting out from under the remainder of CP3’s contract. James Johnson and Goran Dragic are enough to satisfy the league’s salary-matching rules. Perhaps a second-round pick or KZ Okpala might make this more intriguing for the Thunder.
Either way, such a deal would save OKC a boatload of money and open up significant flexibility over the coming years.
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Iguodala isn’t the only veteran defender Memphis can offer the rest of the league. Jae Crowder was a key component in Utah’s dominant defense over the two seasons prior to this one, and he’s on one of the most trade-friendly contracts in the NBA.
Crowder is making just $7.8 million this season. And over the course of his run with the Jazz, he proved capable of guarding any position but the 5.
The Milwaukee Bucks have some intriguing young(ish) wings in Donte DiVincenzo and Pat Connaughton. Kyle Korver and Wesley Matthews are closing in on the end of their careers, but both can still hit catch-and-shoot threes. None of those four are the kind of rugged, switchy defender Crowder is.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the game’s best defenders, so hiding him on defense isn’t necessary. But it would be nice to have that luxury for stretches. Against teams with elite 3/4s like LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard, Crowder could take the punishment on the defensive end, allowing Giannis to preserve some energy for offense.
On the other end, Crowder’s 33.9 career three-point percentage leaves something to be desired, but he has a positive offensive box plus/minus in part because of his willingness to take those threes. That percentage may be below average, but it’s still high enough to force opposing 4s to pay attention on the perimeter. That creates more space inside the lane.
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Circumstances have changed in the months since D’Angelo Russell chose the Golden State Warriors over the Minnesota Timberwolves, such that a trade might be even less likely now.
Even before Stephen Curry got hurt, it was clear the Warriors were nearly devoid of young talent beyond Russell. So why would they unload the one potential rising star they have?
“The Warriors can be earnest when they say they acquired Russell because they saw him as a long-term fit,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst wrote. “But they can equally be honest when they say their short-term game plan has been altered, and it could ultimately lead them to exploring the trade market for Russell once he becomes eligible to be moved on Dec. 15.”
If Golden State could turn Russell into future picks and players who can help now, it might have to consider it.
The “Robert Covington, Jeff Teague and picks for D-Lo” framework still makes some sense. That would leave the Warriors with a potential starting five of Curry, Klay Thompson, Covington, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney for next season. Fully healthy, that’s a contender that could recapture much of the defensive identity that launched that dynasty.
For Minnesota, adding Russell to a lineup that already has a ton of possessions used up by Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins might be precarious, but it would also raise the team’s ceiling.
Russell is eight years younger than Teague, but he has a feel for the pick-and-roll that belies his age. Defending actions involving him and Towns would be nearly impossible. And with their prowess from the outside, slashing lanes should be even more open than they are now for Wiggins.
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With Zion Williamson out, the New Orleans Pelicans haven’t lived up to some of the preseason prognostications. But there have still been plenty of good signs.
Brandon Ingram looks like a bona fide No. 1 scorer. He should be even harder to defend when Williamson is back. Health is an issue for Lonzo Ball too, but he’s shown the all-around game that made him so intriguing as a rookie when he’s on the floor.
One thing the roster may be missing is a deadeye shooter in the same age range as the three mentioned above. Ingram has been that so far this season, but his career percentage suggests a regression may be coming.
Malik Beasley could be that fit at the 2. He’s a career 38.9 percent shooter from three, and he’s 13 years younger than JJ Redick, who currently occupies that role.
And it’s not as if the high-flying Pelicans need this, but Beasley is a highlight finisher around the rim too.
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“Among teams expected to be interested are the Knicks, who are seeking to leverage their short-term deals and cap space to add talent, having missed out on players in free agency,” Deveney wrote of the possibility that Sacramento moves Bogdanovic. “The Knicks have all their first-round picks available to trade and have Dallas’ picks in 2021 and 2023.”
Would New York really want to use a draft pick to go after Bogdanovic? After all, he’s already 27 years old and on the verge of a potentially big payday this summer.
But having Bogdanovic alongside RJ Barrett and Kevin Knox would give the Knicks an intriguing, positionless combination of players from 1 to 3.
Bogdanovic and Barrett can both engineer possessions as primary ball-handlers. All three have shown an ability to hit outside shots. With a frontcourt that includes paint-dwellers like Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson, that kind of backcourt versatility would be huge.
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Despite the recent acquisition of Carmelo Anthony, the Portland Trail Blazers could really use Danilo Gallinari. And they may have one of the more fascinating young players to offer up for him.
After barely seeing the floor as a rookie, Anfernee Simons has been one of the bright spots in a generally disappointing Blazers campaign.
In just 21.2 minutes per game, Simons is averaging double-digit points and shooting 37.3 percent from three off Portland’s bench. Still, he doesn’t do as much for the Blazers’ short-term prospects as Gallinari would.
That might make Portland think about moving him.
In combination with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC would have one of the game’s most enticing young backcourts. Two combo guards who can do a little bit of everything on offense and have the length to work defensively is a switch-heavy scheme.
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For the 10th time in 11 NBA seasons, DeMar DeRozan’s team has a better plus-minus per 100 possessions when he is out of the game.
And FiveThirtyEight‘s playoff predictions now have the San Antonio Spurs at less than a 1 percent chance to make the postseason. Only the Knicks have as bad a shot.
It’s time to move on from DeRozan.
“The Spurs could always deal him sooner rather than let him walk for nothing,” The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote of San Antonio’s dilemma and DeRozan’s pending decision on his player option. “Multiple league sources say the Magic are scouring the trade market for scoring help and have already expressed interest in trading for DeRozan.”
Again, DeRozan has struggled to positively impact his teams over the years, but he might make some sense within the current construct of the Magic.
Orlando is 27th in the league in points per 100 possessions. And their leading scorer, Nikola Vucevic, is at just 18.2 points per game.
Plugging a volume scorer into a defense-heavy lineup that includes Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz could help both sides.
DeRozan would command some attention and open things up for the Magic players, who in turn can cover for the significant deficiencies the shooting guard has on defense.
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According to Hoops Stats, the Philadelphia 76ers are 25th in bench points per game and 15th in bench threes per game.
And with a starting five that’s shooting 31.1 percent from deep, they need all the shooting they can get from the reserves.
Right now, Furkan Korkmaz and Mike Scott are doing a decent job of providing it, but Philly could use more marksmanship to mix in with the space-deprived units that play heavy minutes.
Doug McDermott is a career 40.5 percent shooter from three, and he may be obtainable once Victor Oladipo and Jeremy Lamb are both back to full health for the Pacers.
And like DeRozan with the Magic, Philadelphia has more than enough defense to cover for McDermott’s shortcomings on that end of the floor.
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The Phoenix Suns have been one of the biggest and most pleasant surprises of the 2019-20 season.
Devin Booker looks like an All-Star. Ricky Rubio has been a stabilizing force for the offense. Kelly Oubre Jr. is living up to his new contract. And Aron Baynes continues to fortify his cult hero status.
One potential weakness is at backup point guard. Tyler Johnson and Jevon Carter are both below average in offensive box plus/minus. Instead of going out and acquiring a reserve 1, Phoenix could lean a little harder into positionless basketball.
Oubre, Booker, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson all fit that mold fairly well. Detroit Pistons wing Tony Snell would too. He can defend multiple positions and is a career 38.6 percent shooter from deep.
Carving out some minutes on the wing for Snell would be possible if Booker spent a chunk of his time as the backup 1. Surrounded by three or four positionless shooters, Booker would cause opposing defenses all kinds of problems.
This season has shown that Booker is at his best when playing alongside a competent point guard, but having the option to use him at the 1 against backups would be a nice changeup.
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“When I’ve talked to executives out there seeing this [the Blazers’ high payroll],” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on The Jump (h/t SB Nation), “they believe that the Blazers are going to be active in the trade market as the season goes on.”
Unless Carmelo Anthony is miraculously the 2013 version of himself, that acquisition shouldn’t change the outlook described by Windhorst. The numbers suggest that move might actually make Portland worse.
The Blazers should still be in the market for help, particularly at the 4. Danilo Gallinari has already been identified as an option there, but Kevin Love is probably the most obvious target.
Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor has reported that the Cavaliers are receiving calls on Love, but general manager Koby Altman responded, “No. Not at all,” when asked whether the team had any desire to move the five-time All-Star.
That may just be posturing on Altman’s part. Love is in a decidedly different phase of his career than most of the rest of the Cavs. And his early-season performance has likely beefed up his trade value.
That may be good enough to drag Cleveland to an ahead-of-schedule return to the postseason (FiveThirtyEight pegs the Cavs’ postseason chance at 12 percent). If they stay in the hunt all season, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Altman’s words proved true.
But the way Love is playing right now makes him one of the league’s biggest trade chips. It’s easy to draw the connection to Portland, where Love played his high school basketball and the professional team is in dire need of a 4.
The problem for the Blazers is that their best asset, Anfernee Simons, plays roughly the same position as Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. One might argue Simons has as high a ceiling as any of those three, though. And four shots at a game-changing guard is better than three.
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If the Magic continue to play underwhelming basketball, they may have to think about making some changes. Teams around the league seem clued into that.
“Multiple teams are monitoring Magic forward Aaron Gordon with interest should an opportunity present itself, but the Magic have shown no interest in moving him,” The Athletic’s Shams Charania wrote. “Orlando is 4-7 and working to turn the corner early this season. Gordon signed a four-year, $76 million deal to return to the Magic in 2018.”
The Sacramento Kings are one team that should be interested.
They have what appear to be long-term solutions at the 1 (De’Aaron Fox), 2 (Buddy Hield) and 5 (Marvin Bagley III). A switchy 4 who can put pressure on the rim would fit well.
Perhaps something built around Bogdan Bogdanovic would intrigue the Magic, who, as previously noted, are in the hunt for some offense.
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The San Antonio Spurs are in desperate need of a shake-up.
If Orlando is really asking about DeMar DeRozan, the Spurs need to take those inquiries seriously. The Magic would likely try to keep their top talents out of the deal, but if they continue to lose more than they win, desperation of their own might kick in.
Gordon would instantly improve San Antonio’s defense, and not having DeRozan around would open up opportunities for young guards Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Lonnie Walker IV.
All three probably deserve more minutes: Murray and White because they’ve been better than DeRozan, and Walker because it’s time to show whether he belongs.
The more obvious upgrade would be having Gordon at the 4 instead of Trey Lyles. The latter leads San Antonio in rebounding and is having something of a bounce-back campaign, but he makes more sense in a reserve role.
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JJ Redick’s playoff streak is in jeopardy. After making the postseason in each of his first 13 NBA seasons, Redick finds himself on the Pelicans, who are sitting on a 23 percent chance to get in, per FiveThirtyEight.
Last time he was with a team that was on track to miss the playoffs (the 2012-13 Magic), he was traded to the eventual eighth-seeded Bucks.
History might repeat itself in 2019-20.
If it becomes clear New Orleans isn’t going to qualify, it might look to move some of the veterans on the roster for assets and more prospects to mix in with Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Frank Jackson.
The Raptors are shooting well in the early part of the season, but midseason regressions from Pascal Siakam (35.1 percent, compared to a 31.6 career three-point percentage) and OG Anunoby (52.5 percent, compared to 36.7) wouldn’t be shocking.
Toronto could hedge against that possibility by adding a veteran floor-spacer like Redick. His presence beyond the three-point line would open things up inside for Siakam, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka.
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The Washington Wizards are in the phase of a rebuild when they should be giving themselves as many chances as possible at each position.
Bradley Beal at shooting guard is a sure thing. There may not be another one on the roster, despite how good Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant have looked.
Even if the 24-year-old Noah Vonleh wouldn’t immediately supplant Washington’s current power forwards or centers in the rotation, he’s the kind of talent the Wizards should be after.
Vonleh was the No. 9 pick in 2014, and he’s been a journeyman ever since. At various times in his career, he’s shown flashes of rim protection, great rebounding and even floor spacing.
Maybe Washington is the place he’d put all three together.