During mid-season, contending teams have a pretty good indication of which the areas which need improvement in the roster and which players can immediately come in to shake up the core of the team as the playoffs near. In an era where the constant player movement has become the norm, teams no longer view trades are being chemistry-changers, and rather view them as a necessary aspect in today’s game in order to win championships.
This year’s contending teams are no different, and each general manager of every contending team has one player on their wishlist. After all, there is intense competition in the league his year and there are legitimately seven or more teams that feel that they have a shot to win it all.
Here is the player every contending team would love to add to their roster.
Boston Celtics – Andre Drummond
It is no secret that the Boston Celtics need size inside, as they have relied only on their perimeter players to catapult them to a strong seeding in the East. Coach Brad Stevens seems to be at his best once again, while young players Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are taking the leap towards becoming All-Stars. Not to mention, Hayward looks to be returning to form while Kemba Walker has replaced Kyrie Irving’s scoring.
Adding a big man would complete their team and give them a shot against the likes of the LA Lakers, so moving Gordon Hayward might be in the cards if they want to add an All-Star defensive big man like Drummond.
Los Angeles Clippers – Steven Adams
The Clippers are a very strong team led by Kawhi Leonard, Lou Williams, and Paul George. But they could use a big body like Steven Adams to shore up the paint and allow Leonard and Williams to dominate from the perimeter, especially while George returns to full fitness from his surgery.
Harrell has done a very admirable job down low with his hustle and ability around the rim, but he is still undersized and the Clippers will find it difficult to manage against a team like the Lakers who rely on size and strength. Acquiring Adams would immediately address these issues and heighten their championship odds.
Milwaukee Bucks – Bogdan Bogdanovic
The Bucks have a very solid system in place, one that is built around Giannis Antetokounmpo, so adding some more shooting will only help them in their cause to win a championship. Bogdanovic is a very effective shooter from deep, and his tough defense would also help them on that end as well.
Bogdanovic can be the perfect piece for the team in terms of spotting up for threes, attacking the basket when the lane is clear, and defending the ball which all relieve the insane burden on superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo as the fight for the playoffs get closer.
Philadelphia 76ers – Chris Paul
The Sixers have everything they need, except shooting from the guard position. Ben Simmons is an All-NBA talent who does a ton of things on the court at a very high level, but shooting is absolutely not one of them. The Sixers can get exploited for their poor shooting, and having their main ball-handler as a liability in that respect does the team no good.
Getting Chris Paul would lessen the burden on Simmons in terms of playmaking, but also give them a HOF point guard who can provide leadership and also hit outside shots. Paul is one of the best at creating his own shot, so that will help when the game slows down and perimeter shots become key.
Miami Heat – DeMar DeRozan
Miami is never satisfied with simply being a good team, and Pat Riley will be looking to add another All-Star to pair with Jimmy Butler and their young supporting cast which includes Bam Adebayo. DeRozan seems like the perfect fit since he can play alongside Butler and score in a variety of ways.
DeRozan should get traded by the Spurs, and Miami might have one of the most attractive trade packages that are available. If the Spurs get sold on their young players, Miami could be adding another All-Star swingman to their team.
Houston Rockets – Kevin Love
The Houston Rockets are one of the best scoring teams in the league, and that will likely never change as long as James Harden is the best player on the team and Mike D’Antoni is the head coach. The Rockets would love to add Kevin Love, a stretch four with championship experience.
Love will make a living spotting up for open threes in the corner, as P.J. Tucker does, and imagine if Love can get five good looks a game from there. Love can also help Capela rebound the basketball, which will greatly address the size and big man depth for the Rockets. The Cavs might move Love very soon, so the Rockets could be keeping tabs on him.
Los Angeles Lakers – Derrick Rose
Finally, the Los Angeles Lakers have been arguably the second-best team in the league behind the Bucks this season. When you look at their talent from top to bottom, there are hardly any weaknesses.
But the Lakers struggle on the floor when LeBron James is not in the game. The Lakers do not have a consistent playmaker that can make a valuable difference, and that is why the name of Derrick Rose has been thrown out there in terms of trade talks. Rose is having his best season since his MVP campaign, and the Lakers would be excited to add a potential All-Star to take over playmaking duties and therefore lighten the load on LeBron James as he aims to lead the Lakers to the NBA Finals.