The NBA Offseason has gotten off to quite a strong start, with some very important movements and trades happening. While Free Agency has led to some important shifts in both the Western Conference and Eastern Conference, we have seen some important trades as well.
The likes of the Houston Rockets moved on from their small-ball center Robert Covington, while the Lakers moved JaVale McGee to create cap space for some of their signings. The Thunder have been busy by moving Steven Adams, and the Bucks swapped Eric Bledsoe for Jrue Holiday and some first-round picks.
But we have not seen enough blockbuster trades just yet. There has not been the type of blockbuster trades where superstars are moved, which is a bit surprising considering how many stars are still open to trades. Luckily, there is plenty of time for some blockbuster movement between teams across the league.
Here are the 5 blockbuster trades that could still happen this season.
5. Wizards And Pistons Swap Franchise Stars
Trade Package: Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose for John Wall, a first-round pick
The Detroit Pistons have Blake Griffin and they valued him more than Andre Drummond, who they moved for peanuts last season. But Griffin likely won’t want to stay with the Pistons and they need a plan to rebuild. They drafted Killian Hayes with the No. 7 overall pick in 2020, and he is expected to be the starter going forward although it could take a while. Derrick Rose is aging and a swap for John Wall could be in the cards.
The Wizards have Bradley Beal for now, and pairing him with Blake Griffin would put Washington as a playoff team. Rose can start for Washington too, making them quite deadly in the postseason. The Pistons get a franchise player in Wall and a revamped squad while the Wizards become a playoff team in the East with this trade.
4. Boston Start Creating A Superteam With Rudy Gobert
Trade Package: Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis, Robert Williams, two future first-round picks for Rudy Gobert
Rudy Gobert is the best defensive big man in the NBA and a former Defensive Player of the Year winner. He’s 7 ft tall, blocks shots due to his incredible wingspan, and has the intangibles to be a very effective player on both ends of the floor in Boston’s system. Gobert is a Free Agent after next season, and, likely, Utah won’t pay him. It will come at a cost for Boston to acquire him this offseason, but Gobert might be worth it.
By pairing lockdown defender Marcus Smart and 2 capable big men in Daniel Theis and Robert Williams, the Celtics might have enough to offer. The key to this deal is the 2 first-round picks because Boston have very valuable picks that can result in excellent talent in the draft. The Jazz need to ship off Gobert before he walks for nothing, so shipping off Gobert for picks and a defensive stalwart like Smart might do the trick.
3. New York Knicks Finally Acquire Russell Westbrook
Trade Package: Julius Randle, Dennis Smith, Frank Ntilikina for Russell Westbrook
The Knicks are desperate for a superstar, somebody to carry the organization on their jersey and sell out the stadium. There isn’t a better fit for New York than Westbrook, and similarly, the Knicks need a guy like Russ to bring excitement back into Madison Square Garden. Westbrook in the Knicks uniform would be so fun to watch because his energy and flavor are exactly what the flashy bright lights of New York promise fans.
The Rockets would get Randle, who can be a center in small-ball, along with Smith and Ntilikina who have the potential to be capable starters long-term. Westbrook clearly wants out of Houston, so moving him for Julius Randle and some quality point guards is a package that the Rockets might be forced to accept because Westbrook’s massive contract is almost untradable.
2. Golden State Warriors Create A Powerful Team With Joel Embiid
Trade Package: James Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, Minnesota’s 2021 first-round pick (top-three protection) for Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid should always be untouchable for any team he plays for, but the 76ers need to analyze their roster carefully. The Sixers already have a franchise player in Ben Simmons and his fit with Embiid has not worked as many have hoped. If they look across conferences to the West, the Golden State Warriors might have the best possible trade package for the oft-injured and inconsistent Joel Embiid who doesn’t fit with Simmons.
If the Warriors swoop in and offer James Wiseman and Andrew Wiggins, Philly might take a look. Wiseman is a potential All-Star and possibly superstar, so Philly can revamp their squad. The Warriors can replace Klay Thompson (who is out for the season) with Joel Embiid, and his pairing with Stephen Curry would create one of the top-5 duos in the league. If the Warriors acquire Joel Embiid to pair with Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Steve Kerr; they are back in the mix as title contenders while Klay rehabs.
1. Brooklyn Nets Book Their Place In NBA Finals
Trade Package: Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince for James Harden
The Brooklyn Nets will very likely have the most unstoppable offensive lineup ever if the team acquires James Harden. With Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving already on the team, that will make 3 players who need to be double teamed to prevent offensive explosions every night. The kind of pressure they will put on opposing teams is surreal because adding the best scorer in the NBA alongside 2 offensive superstars is too much for opposing defenses.
James Harden declined a $50 million contract per year, meaning he is hell-bent on leaving the Rockets. The Rockets either need to keep him and convince him to stay or get as much trade return for him. LeVert, Dinwiddie, and Allen are 3 building blocks for the Rockets that could be worth it. Shipping off Harden to the Eastern Conference for a group of capable star players is the best possible option if The Beard wants out immediately.