Opening night of the new NBA season is not far away. We’ve almost made it, NBA fans, the long, drawn-out NBA offseason is finally winding down and everyone can’t wait to for the players to suit up and play ball again on what should be another great season for basketball and the NBA.
If you’re anything like me then the closer opening night gets the longer it seems to take. Every day seems longer and longer and so to keep myself busy I’m trying to bring you beautiful people some NBA analysis to keep you satisfied.
Every NBA season there are always some big name trades that really get people talking. The NBA landscape is always changing which is one of the reasons why it’s so engaging to follow. No doubt there will be some headline trades this year and here are the top 5 that we want to see.
5. Marc Gasol
It pains me to see a team like Memphis on the decline. They were an old-school squad; rugged, blue-collar. They played hard, tough basketball. They were Grind City. They didn’t play flashy, they just ground out results and ground their way to the Conference Finals in 2013.
Sadly Z-Bo left and Gasol and Conley have been unable to carry the team forward. Gasol is an aging giant who is one the last year of his contract with a player option. It doesn’t look like he will be valuable for much longer and he won’t be able to push Memphis in the right direction.
He is still a great player though and has some trade value. Memphis need to trade him now for a load of draft picks and start their rebuilding process now before he’s worth even less in the future.
4. CJ McCollum
Even though the Trailblazers fought their way to the 3rd seed in the tougher Western Conference they were swept by the Pelicans in the first round. Even though Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and great guards it doesn’t appear as if the 2 together will get them very far in the Playoffs.
Lillard is the franchise player and their main guy, so if the Trailblazers want to progress they should trade CJ for a good small forward. That will give Portland more diversity in their starting 5 and allow CJ to prove that he is also a franchise player. CJ is a great shooter and scorer who deserves the chance to spread his wings and not live in Damian’s shadow.
3. Kevin Love
Even though Love will hopefully play at the level we grew accustomed to when he was with the Wolves when he was averaging 25+ points and 12+ rebounds a night that might not translate to success for the Cavs.
Even though Love was dominating for the Wolves they never made the Playoffs and this might happen for the Cavs. They did lose the best player in the world and the last time LeBron left the Cavs really really sucked.
Hitting the reset button last time got them Kyrie Irving, maybe if they trade Love now they could have similar luck in the future.
2. Kemba Walker
As good as Michael Jordan was on the court, he’s been terrible as an owner off the court. Charlotte has been a joke for a long time and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change anytime soon.
Despite trading for Dwight Howard last season they just shipped him off to Brooklyn for next to nothing. They’ve only made the Playoffs 3 times since 2005 and have never made it past the 1st round.
Kemba Walker is their only shining light. He’s been an All-Star for the past 2 seasons averaging over 20 points a game. He will be a free agent next season and if I was him then I’d want out. Charlotte is dead end franchise at the moment and there will be a host of teams wanting to sign him to a max deal.
The Hornets front office knows this and so they need to accept a smaller loss and trade him now before losing him for nothing. Charlotte should trade him to his hometown of New York or to the Suns who are in desperate need of a good point guard to play with Devin Booker.
1. Jimmy Butler
Despite making the Playoffs for the first time since 2004 it doesn’t look like the Timberwolves will be able to build on this for the upcoming season. There are many reports of Butler being unhappy with Karl-Anthony Towns and is frustrated with what the Wolves are doing.
Butler is in the last year of his contract and has a player option for the season after next. He is an extremely desirable player due to his ability to be a franchise player on both ends of the court. Minnesota is also a very small-market franchise and if the likes of New York and LA come calling it would be very hard for Butler to say no.
The Wolves best player is Karl-Anthony Towns who is still very young, they need to build around him. Butler is quite a bit older than Towns (he will be 29 this month) so there is no need to rush. Towns has the chance to be a transcendent player and the Wolves need to build around him.
Trading Butler now gives more freedom for Towns to develop and give the Wolves more freedom to mold their roster to fit KAT’s playing style.